Thursday, June 19, 2008

Kansas City Star Carnage!!! TKC advice to unemployed newsies: "It's time to get a blog"

Landsberg at Bottomline Communications came up with a couple of names of Kansas City Star reporters who got the ax:
Bottom Line Communications has learned that veteran sports writer Howard Richman and former sports reporter Steve Rock have been let go during the recent round of layoffs at the Kansas City Star.
Apparently, these two were pretty good even though I can't particularly remember anything they ever wrote . . . Not to be all Warren Buffett about something as precious and important as journalism (ugh) but it's probably better to build a brand then to contribute to producing a commodity in a mostly nameless fashion. Just a thought . . . Maybe something for newsies without much name recognition to mull over while picking up unemployment checks . . . I'm available for additional counseling if you bring the hot wings and don't mind talking while I play X-box.


Anonymous said...

Here’s the layoff tally as I know it to this point:

Paul Wenske, personal finance, business desk
Julius Karash, health care, business desk
Jackie White, fashion, FYI
Paul Horsley, classical music and dance, FYI
Laura Scott, editorial page
Joe Lambe, Jackson County courts, city desk
Vicki Long, KC Board of Trade, business desk
Dave Olson, business wire editor
Melodee Blobaum, editor, Shawnee-Lenexa Neighborhood News
Loren Stanton, editor, Blue Valley-Leawood Neighborhood News
Bob Lynn, weekend editor, city desk
L. Eric Craven, graphic artist
John Mutrux, photographer for House and Home section
Two of the three calendar clerks (compiled and verified all of the calendar of events listings)
Sports box score editor

From what I have been told, there was little or no planning done with regard to how to fill these holes and the remaining staff is scrambling to figure this out (for example, there have been hurried meetings to figure out who will shoot the pictures for the next House and Home section, and to figure out a weekend rotation for editors to man the city desk).

Except for the two Neighborhood News editors, the ranks of middle and upper management were left absolutely untouched.

Outside the newsroom, the entire security staff has been eliminated and that task will now be outsourced.

It seems clear that this list was put together to meet a numerical target rather than a dollar figure, as many of these are low-paying positions. The decision to leave the management ranks largely untouched was a tragically missed opportunity to weed out a lot of overpaid, undercontributing drones, and a total failure of leadership by Mark Zieman that sacrificed production in favor of privilege.

OPIchabod said...

Just remember Tony that you shouldn't completely advocate the death of dead-tree media.

If you didn't have the Star or the Pitch, where would you get your news? Who would you complain about?

Get your news from the TV stations?

Legitimate stories on the TV stations are largely just repurposing info that has appeared on the Star. Sure, the TV stations come up with their own stuff, but the majority of it is crap.

Anonymous said...

Northland Bureau reporter David Knopf also was let go. To anyone familiar with the inner-workings of the newsroom, there is no doubt that Zieman, Randy Smith and Co. used these layoffs as an opportunity to get rid of reporters and lower-end staff that they deemed as undesirable. People like Rock and Wenske were solid reporters and Bob Lynn was regarded by many as the best editor on the Metro Desk. A veteran of more than 30 years at the paper, Bob did not cow-tow to horseshit corporate-style editors like Smith. All of this is such a goddamn shame.

Anonymous said...

Great information all around. I agree with these folks. The death of the newspaper is a bad thing.

Anonymous said...

Their replacing them with cheaper labor.............illegal immigrants. Turning the KC Star into KC Amigos.