Thursday, February 05, 2009

The Kansas City Star falls another notch?

From the Kansas City Business Journal (and not the Kansas City Star)

(intro music by Roger Miller:)

Kansas City Star....that's what I are!
Yodileedila-ye ya' oughta see m'car
Drive a big ole' Cadillac with wire wheels
Got rhinestones on the spokes
Got credit down at the grocery store and my barber tells me jokes
I'm the number one attraction in every supermarket parking lot
I'm the King of Kansas City...no thanks Omaha...thanks alot.

(fade)

Ahem, from the Kansas City Business Journal:

Kansas City Star will cut more jobs

The Kansas City Star will cut more jobs as part of a restructuring plan its parent company announced Thursday. The McClatchy Co. (NYSE: MNI) plans to cut an additional $100 million to $110 million in costs in the next year, starting later in the first quarter.
* * *
Also on Thursday, McClatchy reported that it lost $21.7 million, or 26 cents a share, in the fourth quarter, which ended Dec. 28. This compares with a loss of $1.4 billion, or $17.46 a share, a year earlier. Revenue for the quarter was $470.9 million, down 18 percent from $573.4 million the prior year.
* * *

No one could miss (at least no one who doesn't work for McClathy could miss) seeing the causes of this: content that is insufficient, poorly selected, poorly written, in a poorly designed paper.

For instance, Inane columns like this one on the Bishop Williamson matter, involving no research and no original thought...and preceded or accompanied by no actual reporting of the underlying news, even on the once-a-week Faith page. In a vaccuum, I might have wondered why there was no report of the lifting of excommunications here in the very newspaper market where the SSPX is headquartered.

But heck, no one even reports for the Falling Star any more. They've laid off all their reporters. If an event isn't reported over the AP wire, or it isn't visible from an editor's window, or it doesn't involve Mark Funkhouser, it doesn't get reported. They just fill the space where the news used to be with graphics and with guest articles that read like the copy came into the place written in crayon.

The only reason to ever buy a Falling Star would have been for packing dishes or lining pet cages or lighting a woodstove. But now that they've skinnied the paper down to pay for their gazillion-dollar presses, and their glass palace, it's not even useful for that.

The days of the Star are numbered. A few weeks ago, I proposed to a journalist/investigative reporter I know that if a guy had a million dollars or so, he could launch a new general circulation paper in town...a tabloid size paper that came out in print once or twice a week with daily email updates to fill in the gaps (like the KC Business Journal), and actually made some effort to provide real news and informed commentary. Something that was fair and balanced, but was edited for consumption by a reasonably informed and educated, commonsense reader with a Western and Christian worldview. I'm not talking about a highbrow publication, or a special-interest religious publication. And no, I'm not talking about a print version of FoxNews (blech~!) I'm just talking about a decent paper with a staff that sifts and reports general news for intelligent people of good will, rather than a mediocre and incomplete leftist rag like we have now.

3 comments:

Christopher said...

Keep the Posts Coming !

CS said...

These clowns have the worst frigging idiots in the observable universe working for them.

Back before the no-call list, they'd call several times a day, and when you bothered answering and saying 'no,' they'd keep hammering you with evasive crap, trying desperately to make you cave in.

Then they had the scumbags who gave away Stars at grocery stores, ballgames and the like. One of these twits actually yelled 'WHY NOT?!' after I said no.

Why would I buy a damned paper that trashes my religion, promotes industrial child slaughter, and harasses me too? SCREW THE KC STAR.

Anonymous said...

"...reasonably informed and educated, commonsense reader with a Western and Christian worldview."

Such people are becoming extremely scarce. Is this really a plausible business plan?