Long time no boots to asses, what gives?
I can’t remember the last time the Kansas City Star unleashed a round of cutbacks and/or layoffs. And that’s saying something. Yeah, they’re still choking out employee furloughs – forced, unpaid vacations. – And while I hate to jinx anyone – after all, I was one of the hundreds that took a bullet a few years back – it does seem quite remarkable.
I mean, the newspaper’s obituary page is chock full of former readers on a daily basis – so it’s not like its readership ranks are growing.
So what’s the deal?
Turns out the worm has temporarily turned at 18th and Grand and ad revenues are up, up, up…
"Yeah, advertising is celebrating big time," one Star staffer says. "The publisher just had a big party for them about a week ago in the Press Pavilion celebrating their success. They had a roast pig and alcohol and everything."
No such gaiety was lavished upon the lowly inked stained wretches who toil in the income-free zones.
That said, it’s not like the surviving newsies are kicking butt and taking names in a post Armageddon newspaper landscape. Not after years of wage freezes, benefits cutbacks, layoffs, furloughs, job insecurity and general uncertainty.
Add to that the reduced news output (fewer pages) being delivered to the driveways of its increasingly elderly readers and you have to wonder how much longer the newsprint game can continue without further cuts. Even given the prospects of an eventual economic rebound.
"I can’t understand why people spend the money for our paper when our circulation is still going down," the staffer says. "And this is at a time when people cancel their subscriptions during a political season because they get mad about our politics."
Hey, keep your fingers crossed.
But know somehow that things will even out and the Star will continue to shine.