Hearne: Kansas City Star ‘Hunger Games’ Reporter Karen Dillon Takes a Bullet


Karen Dillon

It wasn’t Dave Helling, nor Louis Diuguid

And it certainly wasn’t FYI section columnist Jenee´Osterheldt. Nope, the only known layoffs victim Monday at the Kansas City Star was Hunger Games survivor Karen Dillon.

Talk about irony.

When last we checked in on Dillon last December, she found herself infamously in the crosshairs during the last round of layoffs at the newspaper.  There she was locked in a struggle with fellow reporter Dawn Bormann in a battle for survival in which the two reporters were left to decide amongst themselves which would be laid off and which would stay.

Dillon having seniority at the Star was given the option of staying on.

This week’s layoffs at 18th and Grand were the first this year.

As for other casualties, “The only one I know of so far is Karen Dillon but there may be more to come,” a source in the newsroom said Monday morning. “I heard rumors of two people and then I heard rumors of four to five people. So it could be four or five people in the company or four or five in the newsroom.

“I just don’t know how four or five people would make that big of a difference at this point. I mean, especially if they’re little people.”

“Little” meaning sub six-figure salaries.

“The other thing I don’t understand is here Karen is – an award winning journalist – I mean, she did that thing on pollution at the Lake of the Ozarks and won a major award on that. And she’s won other awards where she won money. Why would you cut someone like that?”

Greg Farmer

Greg Farmer

Why indeed.

One theory making the rounds: that not-so-popular editor Greg Farmer is to blame.

“I think Farmer has his chosen few,” says the source. “And the people who don’t say, ‘Yessir’ enough are at risk.”

Stay tuned.


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4 Responses to Hearne: Kansas City Star ‘Hunger Games’ Reporter Karen Dillon Takes a Bullet

  1. BH says:

    Is that really a picture of Karen Dillon? It looks more like former KCUMB president Karen Pletz.

  2. the dude says:

    I can’t stand bosses that overplay their ‘favorites’, it tends to make for a pretty horrible workplace.

  3. Pingback: Burnt Ends: Layoffs and sabbaticals | MediaKC

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