As publisher, I am approached as people would greet a dying man, with eyes downcast and in hushed tones.But in a piece published in Sunday's Kansas City Star, Zieman trumpets how Profitable and Important his newspaper is -- even though people are embarrassed for him and assume his newspaper is near death.
One million local readers a week look at the KC Star's print edition, Zieman boasts. Even more read the KC Star online -- in fact, Zieman claims the KC Star's web site is the biggest in the region. Four million hits to the Star's web site in October. (Zieman didn't mention if the web site is making money, though... I wonder why Zieman left that out.)
But if you've heard things have been a little tough for the KC Star, it's just because of the economic downturn, you see.
But before you swoon at the grandiose claims about the KC Star, how about a dose of reality. In fact, let's look at a few Leading Indicators.
- The Star laid off 120 employees in June, 65 in September, and another 50 in November
- Earlier this month, the Star laid off 10 accounting employees and outsourced the work to India
- The Star even pink-slipped its cartoonist, Lee Judge
- The stock price of the Kansas City Star’s parent, McClatchy, fell to an all-time low this month
- The Star has announced it may sell its downtown complex plus its $200 million printing facility, then lease back the building from the buyer
- Ad revenues for the McClatchy company were down 20 percent from last year's level
Who you going to believe, a deluded publisher? Or the Leading Indicators?