Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments as follows:

Yesterday’s news release on the decision by the Kansas City Star to reject the ad I wrote [click here] exposing the phony victims’ group, SNAP, and its attack on Bishop Robert 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 news releases on this subject.

Much of the chatter has focused on the wisdom of turning down $25,000. Consider the following:

  • June 2008: 10% of the Star’s workforce is cut
  • September 2008: 65 employees accept buyouts or are laid off
  • November 2008: 50 employees are let go
  • March 2009: 15 percent of the workforce is cut
  • August 2009: More buyouts are offered; one-week unpaid furlough is instituted
  • January 2010: another dozen are terminated
  • May 2010: another dozen get their pink slips
  • September 2010: another dozen are booted
  • January 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—in today’s economy—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% between the third quarter 2010 and the third quarter 2011. The Board of Directors will receive this news release, as will the three major investors: John Paulson, Stephen C. Mildenhall and Andrew Feldstein. They are not going to be happy. We’ll have more tomorrow.

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