Thursday, June 19, 2008

Recent Star cuts represent growing trend

Post details:
• Kansas City Star announced job cuts
• Graphic designer creates Google Map to track cuts


On Tuesday’s front page (6/17), the Kansas City Star staffer Dan Margolies wrote the Missouri-based newspaper is cutting 120 jobs (about 10 percent of its work force) – about 20 to 22 positions are expected to be eliminated in the newsroom.

“These cuts are part of the way we must respond as we strategically realign our company for success in this digital age,” said Star Publisher Mark Zieman, who also called the move “a painful but necessary step,” in a memo to employees Monday.

Zieman cited reductions in revenue because of increased competition and the current economic downturn as reasons for the cut.

The Star is “struggling to replace lost print advertising revenue quickly enough with new online revenue,” the article stated. (Having one of the worst designed newspaper Web sites in the country and one that is hard to navigate, I can see why the Star is having problems online.)

Other facts in the story:
  • The cuts are part of the Star’s parent company’s elimination of 1,400 positions companywide:
    o The Star’s parent, The McClatchy Co. of Sacramento, Calif., said the companywide cuts, amounting to a 10 percent reduction of its total work force, are expected to save the company $70 million annually.
    o It said in a statement that it needed to move more aggressively now.
    o McClatchy, the nation’s third-largest newspaper company, reduced its work force by 13 percent between the end of 2006 and April 2008.
  • The layoffs are biggest newspaper-wide staff reduction at the Star since mid-2001, when it announced plans to cut 125 positions, or 6.7 percent of its then-work force of 1,869 employees. Late last year, the Star announced a voluntary severance program, which 24 employees accepted.

In announcing the layoffs, McClatchy joins other major newspaper chains that have announced similar staff reductions in recent months.


Hearing about all of the newspaper cuts can drive one crazy. To get a better picture of all of the announced cuts, Erica Smith, a journalist and multimedia designer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, started a project last year to follow the cuts visually. On her Web site, http://graphicdesignr.net/papercuts, Smith plugs in her collected data of U.S. newspaper layoff announcements into a Google Map. For June to December 2007, she noted 2,185+ paper cuts. Thus far in 2008, she has documented 4,434+ cuts.

Story of our lives, isn’t it? As a journalism student graduating next May, it is definitely discouraging – to say the least – to see such rapid change and job cuts in an industry in which I will soon be trying to get a job.


Find the full article about the Star here.

1 comment:

  1. Layoffs are scary but I see thousands of $100K jobs posted by great employers. Here's Some employment sites -

    http://www.realmatch.com
    http://www.monster.com
    http://www.simplyhired.com

    Better to move forward then look back!

    ReplyDelete