Layoffs at The Star

KC topics that don't fit anywhere else.
shinatoo
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Re: Layoffs at The Star

Post by shinatoo » Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:45 pm

Omaha, St. Louis and Springfield Mo. have better papers with WAY more local content than the Star. Each charge $9.99 a month for digital. KC Star charges $12.99.

McClatchy is a poorly run company. Hope for bankruptcy and that someone of merit picks them up.
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Re: Layoffs at The Star

Post by longviewmo » Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:37 pm

The KC Star is effectively the Wichita Eagle too now. Pretty sure they share all the sports stories, even seem some of the in-depth reporting cross posted between sites even if the issue was obviously focused on one area or the other.

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Re: Layoffs at The Star

Post by GRID » Mon Aug 27, 2018 9:19 pm

Says here that KC Star has more subscriptions than StL Post Dispatch
https://247wallst.com/media/2017/01/24/ ... ewspapers/

I get the paper copy of the Washington Post so I'm used to its size and content. It's actually a very good paper full of great national and world articles and plenty to read. I can only read a small portion of it a day, if that. The Post is extremely liberal though and I think they now try to chase that demographic on a national level to gain online readership.

When I go to KC, it always freaks me out how tiny the KC Star is now. It's like a suburban paper or something. The content seems to be mostly local sports with some AP mixed in. Not much else. It's really sad, I was a daily Star reader for a very long time. It used to be a very good paper.

I just can't read all the news on my phone, I get tired of that and all the BS that comes with online reading. Reading a paper gets you full in debth stories that nobody else gets now because they get their news from social media summaries and what not. Nobody reads a full news articles anymore (even online) to get the whole story and all the facts.

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Re: Layoffs at The Star

Post by herrfrank » Tue Aug 28, 2018 9:34 am

GRID wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 9:19 pm
Says here that KC Star has more subscriptions than StL Post Dispatch
https://247wallst.com/media/2017/01/24/ ... ewspapers/
The data in the linked article (150k subscribers) is from 2015. If the upthread article with 2017-2018 data is correct at 80k Sunday, 63k weekdays, then the Star subscriptions have fallen off a cliff. Halved in two years. This is catastrophic, and I do not see how the newspaper can recover. The whole cost structure is based on certain projections.

Maybe sell themselves to the Pitch? :-O

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smh
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Re: Layoffs at The Star

Post by smh » Tue Aug 28, 2018 9:34 am

I have long hoped that a local civic-mind philanthropist might create a "Star Foundation" that would publish a daily paper free of McClatchy and all of that baggage. Lots of former Star reporters around who could come on board to quickly get such an enterprise up to speed. I predict it could overtake the Star in a couple of years.

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Re: Layoffs at The Star

Post by earthling » Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:19 am

^Are the subscription numbers above including online only subs or just physical paper subs?

Some papers have been adapting to online world pretty well while McClatchy apparently hasn't, destroying the guts of KC Star in the process.

Newspapers/websites, advertisers and mobile pay systems need to collaborate on creative ways to tie coupons online to store checkout. An example is a newspaper/website shows coupons for store products as QR codes or click to add coupon into a Mobile Pay account (Google/Apple Pay, etc). The reader scans the QR code from screen or clicks to add into Mobile Pay account. Then when checking out at store with Mobile Pay, the coupons are applied with a little bit of AI that can tell what coupons in queue can be applied for that store. Something along those lines that entices advertisers to tie back to store coupons via newspapers/websites in the mobile era.

It's already common in a pure web reading to web shopping experience like websites that promote Amazon products and get a kickback. McClatchy is just not keeping up with more recent common ways to profit online (to the point of supporting a full featured city paper staff). Expecting papers to grow physical paper subscriptions from this point on is a bad dream that isn't forward moving to begin with.^AR

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Re: Layoffs at The Star

Post by flyingember » Tue Aug 28, 2018 12:29 pm

This is from the same media company that used to have ads containing something that can only be described as near adult content.
(I was exaggerating back then to make a point)

https://twitter.com/flyingember/status/ ... 7169327104

I don't think they understood that when you accept junk ads you're degrading your brand and are going to have trouble being taken seriously.
They're one of the major reasons I setup an ad blocker on mobile.

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Re: Layoffs at The Star

Post by Elrod » Fri Sep 21, 2018 3:18 pm

GRID wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 9:19 pm
I just can't read all the news on my phone, I get tired of that and all the BS that comes with online reading. Reading a paper gets you full in debth stories that nobody else gets now because they get their news from social media summaries and what not. Nobody reads a full news articles anymore (even online) to get the whole story and all the facts.
I would read the whole story and get all the facts, provided that there are some facts in the story to get. I mostly read the BBC online now, because what we have in the United States that passes for "news" is pretty thin on actual information.

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Re: Layoffs at The Star

Post by kboish » Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:37 am

Star owner centralizing design, copy editing to Charlotte

The move is part of the transformation of The Kansas City Star's parent company (NYSE American: MNI) as it focuses less on print and more on digital publishing. It's also the result of declining advertising revenue and digital disruption, said Gary Wortel, publisher and president of The Sacramento Bee and McClatchy's West regional publisher.
Wortel said the consolidation will affect 30 people now based in the West region. It's unclear how many people this will affect at the Star, which is led from Kansas City by McClatchy's Midwest Regional Publisher Tony Berg and Star Editor Mike Fannin.
The company's stock has lost almost 90 percent of its value since 2014 as McClatchy has struggled with its high debt load and declining print newspaper circulation.
Is the Star really even a local newspaper/media company? Their format just seems like it is inevitably going to die, or continue to morph into something that is a drain on our social discourse.

I think its time for someone to start a mission-oriented, local news-media company in the form of a B-Corp, Benefit Corporation, or even a Non-Profit. The smattering of local blogs that have high content standards should join forces to make this happen.

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smh
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Re: Layoffs at The Star

Post by smh » Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:30 am

kboish wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:37 am

I think its time for someone to start a mission-oriented, local news-media company in the form of a B-Corp, Benefit Corporation, or even a Non-Profit. The smattering of local blogs that have high content standards should join forces to make this happen.
Have been saying this for years. Would love to see the Halls or someone similarly motivated get behind this.

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Re: Layoffs at The Star

Post by maison rustique » Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:41 am

I'll third that!

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Re: Layoffs at The Star

Post by auntbigdog » Tue Feb 19, 2019 7:09 pm


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Re: Layoffs at The Star

Post by FangKC » Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:10 am

That is just sickening.

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Re: Layoffs at The Star

Post by maison rustique » Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:32 am

:-(

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Re: Layoffs at The Star

Post by longviewmo » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:35 am

The Wichita Eagle (also owned by McClatchy) is moving to digital-only on Saturdays. https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.kansas ... 59167.html

That's not a huge change, but not good for the future of a physical paper. They have already been printing Saturday and Sunday together for Wichita for a couple of years - you could go into a coffee shop on Saturday and pick up a thick-ish one that contained both days. Looks like digital-only subscription is getting close to being the majority for the company. https://www.kansascity.com/news/nation- ... 50832.html

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Re: Layoffs at The Star

Post by kcjak » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:18 am

Was visiting my parents in Wichita last month and the Monday paper that was delivered was a large, double page spread with a double-sided single page in the middle. Six pages, with about 1/3 ads. The sports section directed readers to the digital platform for both articles and scores. And the Saturday edition was all articles that I had read in the digital version on Friday.

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Re: Layoffs at The Star

Post by herrfrank » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:33 am

The February article from KCUR states that more than 50 journalists at The Kansas City Star were offered early retirement packages and roughly half accepted. It then goes on to describe a newsroom with "several score" of journalists remaining (so let's say 70 -- halfway between three score and four score).

If anything, I am surprised it still has 70 content-producers. To contrast, my local paper, the Palm Beach Post (150k print circulation on Sunday, 90k on weekdays -- older demographic), has about 35 content-producers. Maybe that seems incredible, but my other half is an editor there -- there are four or five editors, and they also write. Four layout people -- at least two write also. One in Obits, one in Classifieds. One writer for Boca, one for Jupiter, two more cover county and municipal. Something like five each for news and sports. It's extremely lean. Then there are another 15 or so people involved in production -- printing and distributing the thing. Add the sales staff to bring the total employee count to maybe 60. The Star has a total employee count of approx. 150 currently.

While it is sad that the Star has lost so many experienced people, what are those 70 people doing? I would expect a thick daily paper with dozens of articles every day. It's all so sad.

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Re: Layoffs at The Star

Post by herrfrank » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:45 am

I've also read that the Star generates only $10 million annual revenue, so somewhat less than 100k per employee. That's unsustainable. I'm afraid that further cuts are likely.

Again, just as a comparison, the PB Post generates $70 million annual revenue, around 1MM per employee. (Like the Star, they have a large legacy building and the other overhead typical of a daily newspaper.) And the senior editor is constantly harping on cutting costs further.

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Re: Layoffs at The Star

Post by WoodDraw » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:03 am

I'm pretty sure that the star has the right to change home delivery subscriptions to digital with notice.

It's just a matter of time. A lot of the best sports journalists have gone to the athletic or independent, Kevin does his own thing at cityscene. I guess people will depend on the local new networks for breaking stuff.

What we'll miss is the local reporters and investigative reporters. Someone just sitting in City Hall

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Re: Layoffs at The Star

Post by grovester » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:26 am

herrfrank wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:45 am
I've also read that the Star generates only $10 million annual revenue, so somewhat less than 100k per employee. That's unsustainable. I'm afraid that further cuts are likely.

Again, just as a comparison, the PB Post generates $70 million annual revenue, around 1MM per employee. (Like the Star, they have a large legacy building and the other overhead typical of a daily newspaper.) And the senior editor is constantly harping on cutting costs further.
Surprising to hear, I had always heard that the Star itself was profitable enough, but that McClatchey siphoned it off to finance debt.

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