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Re: “Dimming Star: Things just get less and less bright at the city's shrinking daily paper

to jaded,

The market is addressing what the Star isn't doing. There are lots of sources of news - they don't have to come in the form of a newspaper or one run by the current management at the Star. I'm less afraid of not having a source for the news, and more afraid of the bias of the editors and opinion pimps at the Star trying to shape the news. Other people may very well feel the same way - which is why they are having such a hard time selling their paper.

6 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by CNR on 04/23/2014 at 1:21 PM

Re: “Dimming Star: Things just get less and less bright at the city's shrinking daily paper

One of the critical implications of a newspaper failing to adequately staff and report is that journalists are generally responsible for "speaking truth to power", fwiw. If you believe in a free-market and a fair playing field for all (which, lets face it, is a myth/belief system), wouldn't you view the newspaper as a vital organ of democracy, much like the library or the education system? If you don't mind just letting these systems fail, how do you plan to inform yourself and made rational choices?
You seem to concede that sports and puffery are profitable ventures for a paper, but is a paper that fails to report on skullduggery in boardrooms and city halls (of which the only shortage is consumer attn span, not raw material) performing its duty to a free society? I'd argue no.

13 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by jaded_hipster on 04/23/2014 at 12:56 PM

Re: “Dimming Star: Things just get less and less bright at the city's shrinking daily paper

I am just waiting for the hateful reporters left to leave this depressing rag. The publisher and her significant other, Judy T, can just go F themselves, leave and take that stupid Steve Rose with them. Jenne O is an idiot whose daddy must be a McClatchey big shot, she has no talent. . KC would be much better off.

10 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by TIREDoftheSTAR on 04/23/2014 at 12:43 PM

Re: “Dimming Star: Things just get less and less bright at the city's shrinking daily paper

so tell me are you're 401k retirement plans investing in publicly traded companies or privately held companies?????? wall street is so awful and terrible - but most of you own stocks and therefore are the cause of the poor ol KC Star being held to unreasonable profit goals. why don't you take your retirement money and "invest" in taking the Star private??? You'd be happy with no retirement but a really quality newspaper anyway wouldn't you? Not a tradeoff I'm interested in, but then I'm not invested in the Star and plan to retire soon.

You obviously know more about finance and the news business than anyone else.

3 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Warren Bouffant on 04/23/2014 at 12:30 PM

Re: “Dimming Star: Things just get less and less bright at the city's shrinking daily paper


Ultimately the people who buy the papers (local Customers) make the decision on whether the management of the paper is meeting this local news needs. The shareholders /owners of the company want to meet the needs of their local Customers AND make a profit while doing so. Since they hire local people to work for the paper (and don't forget that there are local shareholders too!) they also are invested in the community not just by selling their product but also producing it (reporters, editors, managers, typesetters and paperboys/girls).

Lots of print media are surviving and thriving - they've adapted and sell something people want. The complaint that the Star is failing because they haven't adapted and don't sell what their Customer's want isn't because of who their stockholders are or where they live. It's because they are crappy managers and can't simultaneously meet the needs of their Shareholders and Customers......something lots of companies have to do all the time - regardless of the business they are in.

If thriving print media can make more than 16% return on investment than the bar get's raised for everyone - adapt and adjust or die (ever hear of Charles Darwin?). I could care less if the Star makes it or not, they don't offer me any value - I can get the news they deliver 12 hours sooner than they provide it, and without their pontificating Opinions. I don't use coupons so 80%of their paper is just trash anyway.

5 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Charles Nelson Really on 04/23/2014 at 12:05 PM

Re: “Dimming Star: Things just get less and less bright at the city's shrinking daily paper

The statement that "Wall Street merely keeps score" is a profound oversimplification. Stock prices are driven by quarterly earnings reports and other short-term measures -- a master to which corporate managers must pay heed. Many family-owned business -- large or small -- base their business strategies on a generational time frame, often sacrificing short-term profits to drive long-term growth and stability. Both seek to be "profitable" but define the term very differently. Public ownership, by nature, drives a specific strategic goal. It's not the scoreboard, it's the game.

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by that guy on 04/23/2014 at 12:05 PM

Re: “Dimming Star: Things just get less and less bright at the city's shrinking daily paper


Newspaper conglomerates answer to shareholders and not citizens of cities and towns where their newspapers are located.

Slightly more than 10 years ago (2000/2001) shareholders started demanding increased profitability levels. It was considered that a newspaper running a 16 percent profitability was a good return. That percentage increased over and over and over. To make these marks, newspapers started cutting a tiny layer of fat and then started cutting meat until management hit bone. This translates to laying off staff and losses through attrition.

Knight Ridder owned KC Star and about 35 other newspapers throughout the United States until 2006 when it was bought out by McClatchy Company. Prior to purchasing Knight Ridder, McClatchy owned 12 newspapers. The buy out made McClatchy the second largest newspaper owner in the company. At the time of the sale, "Knight Ridder commanded a premium of about 25 percent for its shares from the time it put itself up for sale in November under pressure from shareholders who were unhappy with performance of its stock." Remember what I said before ... it used to be thought that 16 percent meant a good performance. (here's the article sourcing what I quotes ...

You reference the OC Register. I think that's interesting. Just an FYI - OC Register is owned by Freedom Communications, which is is a national privately-owned information and entertainment company. Privately-owned is key in this ownership situation. You plucked an apple (OC Register) to compare it to an orange (KC Star... which is publicly traded). It has nothing to do with liberal and conservative views. It does have a lot to do with finances and available resources.

The death of newspapers in part has to do with the Internet and newspapers not knowing how to harness it to benefit newspapers. However, the bottom line and the requirements of answering to shareholders has greatly impacted newspapers throughout the United States. Newspapers used to be seen to some degree as a community service as well as a business. If the purpose of newspapers now is to just make money, then they won't prosper or grow because the community doesn't gain value.

28 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Lois on 04/23/2014 at 11:41 AM

Re: “Dimming Star: Things just get less and less bright at the city's shrinking daily paper

Look at California Mr Ketchup. The Orange County Register is going to expand into Los Angeles to compete head to head with the LA Times. If people don't want an alternative point of view the Pitch wouldn't exist.....though frankly I don't see much difference between the Star and the Pitch ( with a few exceptions - Escort Ads and an overabundance of Restaurant reviews).

As for Wall Street being the culprit - you must have skipped your Econ courses in College. Most businesses operate to make a profit....."wall street" as you call it only helps keep track. If these Newspapers didn't go out asking for investors to put money in with the expectation that they'll get a return they could just do what every they wanted with their individual owners money - and would go broke sooner.

7 likes, 19 dislikes
Posted by Charles Nelson Really on 04/23/2014 at 10:40 AM

Re: “Dimming Star: Things just get less and less bright at the city's shrinking daily paper

Charles, few papers in this country are thriving, liberal or otherwise. The author is spot on; Wall Street is a huge reason newspapers are struggling. And papers themselves can look in the mirror for the incredibly stupid decision to not charge for online.

19 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Ketchup on 04/23/2014 at 9:59 AM

Re: “Dimming Star: Things just get less and less bright at the city's shrinking daily paper

I would like to see the Star purchased by local interests and turned into a non-profit. Much like in St. Louis, it could be combined with KCPT or KCUR to increase the depth and range of its coverage. Local news and information is too important to let the current state of the Star persist.

40 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Concerned on 04/23/2014 at 9:30 AM

Re: “Dimming Star: Things just get less and less bright at the city's shrinking daily paper

Other papers around the country are thriving but the leftwing liberal rag Star can't even make it with no competition in this Podunk liberal town. Ha ha ha....let's blame it the Koch brothers it has to be their fault!

7 likes, 76 dislikes
Posted by Charles Nelson Really on 04/23/2014 at 6:42 AM

Re: “So Sioux Us

is ta is one of the whores who supports the American Indian Movement of rapists, pedophiles, and murderers of women and young girls... so he/SHE has to spew lies to divert the truth from the perverts who spawn lies like the boy who lives with his mama at home...Tony...who is a "porn addict" because he can't get a woman...but...wait...maybe plenty of wolf chit can volunteer her "services" for Tony boy! Ya think?

Posted by Richard Boyden on 04/21/2014 at 9:17 PM

Re: “Heaven Is Hell

Excerpt from my memoir about my ten years in the UNOI available on in paperback or for you kindle, tablet or smartphone......

"The Perks of of Cult Life (or why I had to slap Brother Ronnie 7 Times)
I was at duty at the bakery late December 2008 when I got the phone
call that would begin the series of events which lead to me leaving the
Nation. I remember like yesterday being in the front of the bakery
cleaning and setting up the display cases for the day. The phone rings
and its Sister Sandi.
“ You’re probably going to never want to speak to me again, but”,
I knew what she was going to tell me before she could get the words
Despite our previous improprieties Sister Sandi and I had a very good
relationship. She had shown through her motion a genuine will to see
The Idea successful in Detroit. She had cut her locks and came into the
bakery to assist every chance that she got. That previous day in fact,
Sandi had come into the bakery to volunteer.
As usual, we were the only ones there when she came in. This was
typical, but for whatever reason, this day was different.
Perhaps it was our history coupled with the intimacy that comes with
working side by side with someone. Or maybe I was just a little horny
that day, who knows?
At any rate, on this day the normal conversation turned to flirting, then
flirting turned to touching, then touching turned to an embrace and
before you know it we are on the very edge of erasing whatever
progress we made in the idea of staying on the straight and narrow.
We alternated between one of us instigating the action and the other trying to be the responsible one. As we went back and forth, I am not
sure what made us finally stop but when we did, perhaps from the
testosterone mixed with guilt and anger in myself, I reacted rather
I told her that behavior was completely unacceptable and could never
happen again, too much was at stake. She abruptly left the bakery. After
taking about twenty minutes to cool down, I called her.
I told her that I wasn't trying to be cruel or mean, I just didn't want
things to go back down that road. I had made such progress and even
more importantly the Detroit Study Group was at a very critical point
and the last thing that was needed would be me falling off.
If I fell or got caught up in a scenario, especially one of that nature, then
it would affect not only my family but essentially the whole study group.
I wasn't willing to take that chance.
She said that she understood and respected that and that she would
just talk to me a little later.
To be honest, at the time I felt like that was a battle with myself that I
had won.
Had that been a year ago, the closest I would have come to discretion is
making sure that the door was locked to the bakery before I got into
whatever I was going to get into.
I had nothing but very good memories of my rendezvouses with Sandi,
however it had been close to a year since we had been intimate. I was
working hard to clean up my image and renew some sort of confidence
in my being able to be a leader in the Nation.
In my mind the conversation was another sign that all of that was
behind me.
And then I got that call.

“ ….when I got home I was still feeling some kind of way about the
situation. Sister Wendy was there and we talked about it. And I told her
At this point a chill ran down my spine. I had gotten myself into some
really bad spots since being in the Nation and I can tell you that a lot of
times, what determined how far a scenario went, was who was in the
know of the scenario.
If, for instance, just officials knew about a scenario and it was not
productive or in accord with anyone's agenda to let a scenario be
known to the general public/nation, then it may stay amongst the ones
who were initially involved.
In this situation the words “I talked to Sister Wendy” made that
prospect impossible. Sister Wendy was the queen of reporting
transgressions, real and perceived. She would not only report to the
proper officials, but also would waste no time getting information
circulated on the gossip circuit. Like most gossips, the inaccuracy of the
information was secondary to the need to get it on the wire as fast as
possible. Gossip was so rampart in the Nation that there multiple
entries addressing in the FOI/MGT Manual, which amounted the UNOI
Sister Wendy had a well-known record of taking the most innocent
situations and twisting and magnifying them into huge dramatic
problems. Imagine what she could do in this case where I was clearly in
the wrong.
Sandy continued, “She asked me if I loved you. I said yes. Then she told
me that she didn't see anything wrong and that I should put in a bid for
you and that if I didn't do it then she was going to report the scenario. I
put in the bid however she still reported the scenario . . . . . “
I must have said the same four-letter curse 200 times in a row as I
stared out the window of the bakery at East Warren Avenue.
“This is it………. my whole life is over.” I declared in a rush of emotion. I
could feel my very salvation and sanity slipping from my grasp.
She continued on telling me what happened and apologizing repeatedly
but to be honest, I couldn't hear a word she said after this point. My
heart was in my gut, and I felt like cement was trudging through my
veins. Everything just felt so dull and dark. I was immediately overcome
with the feeling that my world was coming to an end.
My mind started to travel a million miles a minute and I had that all too
familiar feeling of having let my family, the study group, all those who
believed in me, down. Mentally I fast-forwarded to what was probably
happening on another phone call somewhere in the Nation. Having
been here before I realized that if I was going to go down, then it was
best to do it on my own terms. I quickly rushed her off the phone and
dialed Kaaba's number.
“As Salaam Alaikum.”
I gave him the greetings he returned them. “ Y Laikum Salaam. What’s
up Pros?”
“Okay if you asking me that, that means you haven't gotten that call
“What call?”
I broke the whole thing down for him, detailing my affair with Sandi, its
end, everything that happened the previous day at the bakery, and
what happened between Sandi and Sister Wendy.
“Aw shit Pros. That’s not good at all. Especially not for you.”
“Yeah I know, I just wanted to call and give you a heads up.”
He repeated.
“Yeah that’s not good at all… “ I could sense he was scanning his mind
to see what angle to take in this situation. By this time Kaaba had
become a master politician, which meant he was capable of greasing
the wheels of justice, and at the same time he was wise enough to know
when a situation was beyond even his political tinkering.
And this was certainly one of those.
“OK I’ma have to call you back”
“Yessir” I responded as I prepared myself for the inevitable. I had
survived some pretty bad situations in the Nation but I could see no
escape from this one. Too many people where involved and affected by
it. Amanda, Sandi, Wendy, even the fact that Sis. Judy was the one who
actually ended up taking the report made my heart ache.
Members continued to mill about the bakery as usual. Since it was my
ass in the ringer, I figured that Bilal, my Brother in Law and the Detroit
Lt., would mostly get a call to perform the execution.
It was a Tuesday, so all the members would be coming to the bakery,
the Brothers for FOI class and the Sisters for MGT Class.
I moved about the bakery like the walking dead, doing my best to keep
my happy cordial spirit as the members walked in and greeted me in the
usual enthusiastic way, small talking about this, seeking guidance about
Just before 7pm Bilal came to the front of the bakery.
“We need to call Kaaba and Bro. Minister”
I picked up the bakery phone and called Bilal’s cell. He in turn called his
Father, Minister Joe, while I called Kaaba.
After the obligatory greetings and acknowledging that everyone was on
the phone Kaaba began,
“Alright Prostell, you are on 90 days away from us. You are to remain in
the home with your family, but you are not permitted to come to
classes or to any of the Nation’s businesses. Father also said you are to
go get a job and to keep up your charity.”
A wave of relief rushed over me.
I don’t know what I was expecting but it was certainly harsher than this.
Hell I had been instructed to lay hands on Brothers who had done less.
Tears began running down my face and I fought being choked up as he
asked me to repeat my instructions.
I repeated them.
“Yessir. Bilal you will get the vehicle and the bakery keys from Prostell.”
Kaaba asked did anyone have any questions, I asked him to tell Father I
said thank you and just that that quickly it was over.
I was still crushed but I knew it could have been a great deal worse. I felt
like Father had thrown me a bone by allowing me to stay in the home. I
figured the emphasis on getting a job was there to make sure I didn’t go
out and get caught up in any hustle.
I understood.
It brought to mind a conversation I had with Kaaba shortly after I had
first arrived in Heaven. I had mentioned that my will was to return to
Detroit and help move things forward. He assured me that would never
happen, because the easiest place for a brother to get caught up was
where he was from. In other words he knew all the right places to get
into all the wrong things. Now a few years later I was a case study in
that principle.
I turned over all the keys, other than my house keys. I was offered a ride
home, but turned it down, thinking it best that I figure that out on my
own since I was now officially out of the Nation for 90 days. I had been
on the other side of the scenario plenty and the last thing you wanted
to do was appear to be helping a brother that had gotten on Royall’s
bad side.
I walked around the corner to my sister’s home and borrowed a couple
of dollars in order to get on the bus home. I knew the long bus ride
would give me time to sort out the million or so thoughts buzzing
around in my head.
My children: I would have to figure out how I would break the news to
them, I wondered how many times a child can see their Father fail so
publically before they are embarrassed by his presence.
My wife: I knew words could never describe the pain and
embarrassment she would feel. Again. If nothing had been the final
straw, I knew this was it. I knew people had been in her ear for years
that she could do better. She was a very good sister, so my body
wouldn’t even be cold before the Brothers would start putting their
In the Detroit Study Group, as much as I had been in trouble, very little
of it actually ever became public record. This scenario would surely
change their perspective of me.
As the Minister, my absence would have a huge impact on the daily
motion in and out of the bakery. At the very least it meant an increased
work load for the more diligent members.
For those on the fence it meant potentially falling off altogether. For
lost-founds/regular civilians who may have never even heard of us, it
would greatly jeopardize their only hope for salvation. After all, that was
the point of all this motion, to save the Black Man and Woman here in
North America. Now their blood would be on my hands.
As an FOI, knowing I would be the latest casualty of the last 'few good'
Brothers that was left in the Nation hurt. Me, Carter, Emory, Morris,
Daniel, and a handful of other FOI often kept in touch, and pledged
ourselves to make sure that the few Brothers who were not politically
motivated would do whatever was necessary to protect the overall
integrity and brotherhood of the FOI. Yet more and more it seemed like
we were dropping like flies.
Judy: I knew she was happier than she had been in long time. Even
though she had been ordered to go back to Alabama and her husband
against her will, I knew she liked it in my home and my family loved her,
so I held onto the idea that maybe things would work themselves out.
Amanda trusted her and had grown extremely close to her. Judy’s
respect for me was helping Amanda to begin to look at me in a new
light. The possibility of her being a permanent part of my family
evaporated with Sandi’s phone call.
Sandi: I felt sorry and hated her all at one time. Sandi was a great sister
who had shown more dedication in her six months or so processing than
most of the members had shown in a lifetime in the Nation. She was a
real soldier. Even after we ended our affair we remained close. She was
always a very good and genuine friend.
On the other hand, I wondered how she could fix her mouth to tell
Wendy of all people what had gone on. She had told me a million times
that the main thing she learned from living with Wendy was that she
could not keep her mouth shut.
With all of this buzzing around in my head, I walked out my sister's
home, and looked at the red brick house almost directly across the
5220 Courville.
Poetic Justice.
My journey was slowly coming to an end; right where it had first began.
This is where I had first learned of Royall, the UNOI, and Mathematical
Thinking Class. This is where it had all started for me 10 years ago.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Prostell T J Thomas on 04/21/2014 at 6:39 PM

Re: “Amit Raizada, local payday profiteer, takes his talents to South Beach and gets sued

Are we STILL talking about this???

2 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by getoverit on 04/21/2014 at 5:27 PM

Re: “Kansas City 2020: Part II

I think the best plan would be for the local municipalities to keep pumping in millions of taxpayer dollars for vague incomplete plans outsourced to questionable contractors and businessmen.

8 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by kcjoe on 04/21/2014 at 11:12 AM

Re: “Kansas City 2020: Part II

Community garden plots, mini-farms, greenhouses, gray water recycling and fruit trees instead of concrete and retail. That is the future.

13 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Pam Barone on 04/21/2014 at 10:30 AM

Re: “Kansas City 2020: Part II

Problems at Sunflower same as Miami Dolphins stadium in the 1980's. The place is glowing with radiation from spent plutonium from milling operations. Good news is the solution is simply encapsulation in cement, buried, and paved over. Exactly what they did in Miami. Ideally this would be a perfext spot for a landfill whereas the vision of any residential, commercial (other than remediation and recycling) or entertainment venues is harmful. Funny how the designated authority with jurisdiction in this regard is the County.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Robert Roberge Jr. on 04/21/2014 at 9:19 AM

Re: “Kansas City 2020: Part II

Robert Moses was an extremely pretentious racist asshole, and the WPA was a communniss conspiracy, but at least the guy finished projects. The neoliberal fear of inefficient public spending and the urge to privatize development projects has actually led to an even worse situation than having one guy dictate what development would look like for the entire country and just using public works. Sure, concrete jungles aren't a perfect place to bring up a family, but it beats a brownfield and an old bomb factory. These projects are like our massive answers for the potholes in Chicago's roads. They are potholes in our city's landscape. Ok it's not 4/20 anymore time to stop saying pot.

0 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by anon on 04/21/2014 at 8:55 AM

Re: “Kansas City 2020: Part II

I agree with 10:15. Lets get some true riverfront development and really clean it up. There is so much trash, tires, and debris just laying around everywhere. The water quality is probably pretty poor. Some condos and lofts would be nice next to some kind of new river walk.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by SomeDude on 04/19/2014 at 11:25 PM

Re: “Amit Raizada, local payday profiteer, takes his talents to South Beach and gets sued

I was wondering how all those people in Leawood and Mission Hills make their money. Now I know.

2 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Poolboy Pat on 04/19/2014 at 8:07 PM

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