Update II (2:21 p.m. September 7): I just received the Star's press release about today's layoffs, which included a statement from publisher Mark Zieman that "The Star won't die, but this recession will." Comforting.
Fewer people will be working here by the end of the
Here's what we learned from the release:
employees" and it's "necessary."
company is pressed by a continuing economic slowdown."
that includes severance pay and job placement
And here's Zieman's full statement from a memo to employees:
"I know that weathering this recession has been
exceptionally hard for each of you. But we will begin next year with a
steadily improving revenue trend. We are posting record online traffic
and revenue, we remain the dominant media company in our region, our
presses and readership metrics are among the best in the country and our
news products are recognized nationally for their journalistic
excellence. The Star won't die, but this recession will."
Update I (1:15 p.m. September 7): The Star announced "about a
dozen" layoffs on its Dollars & Sense blog about the same time our
post when live. The Star also announced that the paper eliminated about a
dozen unfilled positions.
The consolation prize for those lucky
enough to still have a job? Another unpaid week-long furlough.
The Star had already laid people off in January and May.
Star Publisher Mark Zieman reportedly told employees in an e-mail
that the "continuing economic downturn now forces us to move ahead with
some measures we had hoped to avoid."
Talk about uplifting.
Zieman did try to end on a high note, adding that the Star's
corporate overlord "expects to end the year financially
strong and that an advertising rebound was slowly gaining steam."
"I deeply regret that we've had to take these steps, especially as
approach what I believe will be a turning point in this historic slump
in our industry," Zieman's e-mail said.
Original Story (11:53 a.m. September 7): Jason
Whitlock's flame out at The Kansas City Star apparently
wasn't enough to save his former co-workers (not that I really expected
it to save anyone). We're hearing that the daily is going through
another round of layoffs as I type.
I put in a call to Star editor
Mike Fannin's office, which passed me off to publisher Mark
Zieman's office, which passed me off to marketing, which is sending
over a statement.
Not a lot of info yet, but I'll update when I