Hearne: Star Stuns Newsroom, Axes Eight on Heels of Recent Job Furloughs

It’s a jungle down there…

After only recently announcing that Kansas City Star employees will be required to take yet another week of unpaid “vacations,” the newspaper stunned newsroom employees today by laying off eight full-time staffers, including enormously popular newsroom IT dude Chase Clements.

“The Kansas City Star on Tuesday announced it was laying off eight full-time and four part-time employees as well as eliminating several open positions,” the Star writes on its Website. “Publisher Mi-Ai Parrish said the job eliminations were a difficult step that comes as the newspaper continues to ‘restructure and strategically reinvent’ its operations.”

The surprise moved was a jaw dropper to an already demoralized staff after more than four years of severe cutbacks and layoffs that have seen the Star staff shrink from more than 2,000 in 2003/2004 to around 700.

“You know the Star is dying on the vine if they’re going to let people like Chase go,” said one staffer. “This place is just going to wither and die. If those are the kind of people the Star is going to lay off then they are truly hosed.”

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7 Responses to Hearne: Star Stuns Newsroom, Axes Eight on Heels of Recent Job Furloughs

  1. Super Dave says:

    Man those clowns have to know it’s coming hell I don’t work there and know the damn placing is dying.

    It’s not a jungle it’s a disaster, just nobody has called in the bulldozers yet to level the place.

  2. the dude says:

    With every layoff announcement that rag becomes an even bigger joke than it already is. All it is now is one big advertisement with a few AP stories sprinkled in.

  3. Rick Nichols says:

    The irony here, of course, is that today is The Star’s 132nd birthday. Was Ms. Parrish well aware of that coming into today’s announcement or is this simply a case of a mere coincidence born out of ignorance? Remember, this is the same lady who relied heavily on her notes/script in “speaking” to the 40 Years Ago Club back in January. That did not make an overly favorable impression on the ex-newspaper people in attendance that day. At any rate, my thoughts and prayers are certainly with those who are being shown the door during these trying economic times, and ditto with respect to those who are still giving a valiant effort in trying to keep the “HMS Nelson” afloat amid troubled waters.

  4. Congratulations says:

    Congratulations on laying off one of the few people who knew how things worked. Brilliant move. Everybody is in shock.

  5. eggbert shoots fire! says:

    No kidding, Star. Congratulations. They can’t keep good people from leaving and fire the smart people they have.

    That’s a sound business plan.

  6. Hot Carl says:

    Does this really surprise anyone? Dear Remaining Star Staffers…get the f*ck out. The ax will eventually find you.

  7. JRL says:

    I left voluntarily during the layoff period of 2008. Prior to my exit, they made me layoff (fire)3 people- last in, first out. I decided to change careers to a high growth industry, instead of putting on a band-aid and going to another advertising position. May I suggest those departed should consider doing the same. The definition of insanity is staying somewhere waiting to get whacked.

    Best of luck.