Don’t look now but the inevitable is upon us…
The question being, when and where will it all end where the Kansas City Star is concerned?
When the Star dropped its most recent bombshell – on Monday April 17, 2017 in a front page “Editor’s Note” – the news was both grave and ominous.
As of that moment, Kansas City’s longtime newspaper of record would be making yet more severe cutbacks. They bandaged the bad news by introducing the changes by first noting that there would be three additional pages of coverage every Monday followed by a page of arts and entertainment stories on Tuesdays.
Not bad, eh? More is more.
Not so fast…
Cloaked between that half hearted positive thinking was the raw fact that Thursday’s more than 30 year-old Preview section was going for a dirt nap.
The editors were killing off Preview and what remained of their vaunted FYI section without so much as uttering a few words over their moribund bodies?
Talk about disingenuous…
How shallow and callous to try to spin the awful truth as if readers either wouldn’t notice the subtractions or might somehow find them palatable based on a few token “additions.”
However that’s the way the game is being played these days – not just at 18th and Grand – but everywhere. Little to no accountability.
By the same folks who’ve been digging the same grave for the past 20 years with misstep after misstep, while clinging to the past but doing little to demonstrate anything approaching a sense of awareness that the year is 2017 not 1997 (the year before the first iMac was released and the internet began its cancerous encroachment on traditional news media like newspapers).
The folks in charge at 18th and Grand are still laser focused on trumpeting front page headlines about day old news and wasting precious natural resources on back and white comics, word games, horoscopes, television listings, antiquated opinion sections no one reads or cares about and syndicated columns ghost written for figures from the last century that are either well into their late 90s or six feet under.
So what’s next?
Remember a handful of years back when former editor and publisher Art Brisbane mused about the Star circling its wagons around a four-day-a-week tabloid pub – 20,000 or so copies – and defending the financial realm with a fat Sunday offering.
For the uninformed, Sunday is where the revenues are.
Plus of course the only modestly profitable Internet.
The $64 million question:
How many more oldsters have to die; how much more news content must disappear; and how frustrated must Star print subscribers become before it all goes up in smoke and they pull the plug on print entirely?
Followed by far more drastic staffing cuts to match the severe drop in revenues?
Now a quick time out:
A tip of the hat to comments urchins who will undoubtedly want to diminish these observations and questions by trying to link my departure from the Star some years back to some sort of imaginary vendetta. Knock yourselves out, this is legit news commentary.
And try not fall for and not step in dated, lame blogging cliches like “dead tress media.”
Because it’ll be a sad day when witty blogging banter and unverified factoids replace whatever remains of real news.
The $64 billion question:
When will things get bad enough (and the stock of companies like Star owner McClatchy fall far enough) that someone with an actual eye to the future steps in and cleans house of the execs, editors and publishers who continue to live in the past while pretending otherwise?