SUICIDE OF THE KANSAS CITY STAR
Catalyst December Issue 2011
Our news release on the decision by the Kansas City Star to reject the ad exposing the phony victims’ group, SNAP, and its attack on Bishop Finn, reached approximately 200 employees of the Star and about 300 media outlets in the Kansas City, Missouri area; another 1500 media outlets around the nation received it. All will continue to receive our releases on this subject.
Much of the chatter has focused on the wisdom of turning down $25,000. Consider the following: In June 2008: 10 percent of the Star’s workforce is cut; Sept. 2008: 65 employees accept buyouts or are laid off; Nov. 2008: 50 employees are let go; March 2009: 15 percent of the workforce is cut; Aug. 2009: More buyouts are offered; one-week unpaid furlough is instituted; Jan. 2010: another dozen are terminated; May 2010: another dozen get their pink slips; Sept. 2010: another dozen are booted; Jan. 2011: 20 others are shown the door.
Ten years ago, there were 1,869 employees at the Star; today there are 840. Given these data, turning down $25K must mean the Star is more concerned about getting Bishop Finn than it is the welfare of its own workers. Looks like the Star is suicidal.
The McClatchy Company owns the Star, and its advertising revenue is down 10 percent between the third quarter 2010 and the third quarter 2011. The Board of Directors will receive this release, as will the three major investors: John Paulson, Stephen C. Mildenhall and Andrew Feldstein. They are not going to be happy.