Hearne: Star Layoffs Follow New McClatchy CEO’s Assurances to Star Staffers

Talk about a bolt from the blue…

Today’s surprise axing of eight Kansas City Star staffers comes one week after new McClatchy President and CEO Patrick J. Talamantes visited the newspaper and assured newsroom staffers of brighter days ahead.

McClatchy is the parent company of the Star.

“People here are sick,” says one newsroom staffer. “They’re just like shaking their heads. Talamentes was just in last week telling us that the Star was the company’s shining star and how (corporate) is paying down their debt. He pretty much left us with the thought  that we’re doing so much better and we’ve made great progress. And now it’s like, ‘We’re doing so great, let us kick you out the door.’ “

In addition to newsroom IT Chase Clements, three accounting staffers, a telephone operator and two production people were shown the door.

The staffers were reportedly given two weeks notice, six months of severance and the option to purchase up to a year in health benefits.

Did anyone see it coming?

“Well, there’s always rumors,” the staffer says. “They never stop, they just keep coming. Now the rumor is that (controversial Star editor) Mike Fannin may be leaving.”

As for newsroom morale, “I don’t know, I’m just sick,” the staffer says. “It’s hard to get up and come to work every day.”


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5 Responses to Hearne: Star Layoffs Follow New McClatchy CEO’s Assurances to Star Staffers

  1. Super Dave says:

    Why wasn’t this just one big story since it is the all part of the last post you made? Or are we posting like this to make more posts since Craig isn’t posting a bunch of jibber today?

  2. Pingback: KC Star announces more layoffs « MediaKC

  3. admin says:

    OK Minutia Dave, here’s your answer:

    Because I broke the news in the first story and after doing more reporting, learned of the irony of McClatchy’s CEO telling everybody at the Star how good they were doing and giving reassurances just last week. Before, uh, whacking them this week.

    Do you not understand how news unfolds and evolves?

    If you prefer your news in one fell swoop may I suggest Time magazine?

  4. Rick Nichols says:

    I’d be curious to know what Mr. Talamantes is making these days. The previous head man at McClatchy, Gary Something-or-other, snagged a nice gig with AP and was living like a king in New York, according to at least one report. These wide gaps in pay between the corporate management types and the rank-and-file are real morale killers, and that’s putting it mildly. I guess the lesson to be learned here is this: if the boss man (or lady) suddenly drops in from out of the blue to tell you you’re doing a wonderful job, it’s time to dust the old resume off. Methinks me remembers a song from the ’60s or ’70s – something about “Smiling faces …”

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