Monday, December 1, 2008

Alan Mutter: Newspapers preparing for drastic cuts

Alan Mutter says 2009 will be the year of drastic cuts for newspapers.

Fearing that newspaper sales may fall as deeply next year as the record plunge in prospect for 2008, publishers are preparing contingency plans for cutting costs in previously unimaginable ways.

In the best of cases, publishers will continue aggressively nipping and tucking at staffing, benefits, newshole, and the footprint of their circulation areas. In the worst cases, some newspapers will be shut down – or endure only as skeleton-staffed online operations.

Mutter says numerous newspapers are already weighing the option of not publishing at all on certain days of the week.


Anonymous said...

KC Star has all ready started the cuts. No Business or Travel and multiple other sections, columns missing. Here's what we're left with a FEW AP stories, a couple of Local stories, LOTS OF BIG PITURES, Ads, Opinions, Obits and Letters to the Editor. Can you imagine a paper not having a Business Section even in the Sunday paper? Maybe the reason is they let the guy go that did that.

When they finally find a buyer for the Press Building try and also find a buyer for the presses. They have 4 new expensive presses ask Zieman how many are used?

Archer05 said...

Check: The blog ‘Reflections of a Newsosaur’ is written by
[Alan] Mutter.

McClatchy Watch said...

Archer05 -- thanks, fixed.

Anonymous said...

Here's some news. I called the Kansas City Star Reader's Rep. Derick Donovan (816) 234-4487 this morning.

I asked where the Business Section was? I was told that it has been canceled due to cuts being made. I also asked where the Travel Section was. I was told it had been cut but there was 1 page in another section that had to do with Travel.

Here's the good part. I then ask why they took up about a 1/2 page for Mr. Zieman, Publisher when they were cutting sections. This is what I was told. They needed to explain why they were needing to make changes in the paper.

I then ask the BOMB question. WHY DIDN'T HE MENTION ALL THE JOBS BEING LOST TO INDIA?... "Are you ready for his answer"????? They haven't been. He denied it. He told me that I didn't know what I was talking about. Then he yelled and hung up on me. I called back and he yelled again and hung up. So according to the Reader's Rep. India is not doing any of the Advertising jobs.

I would be interested if anyone else has had that type of response>

Anonymous said...

Forget the business section.... an organization that is going out of business has no credibility writing about business.

Anonymous said...

Well, so much for a "Reader's Rep" maybe change the name to "Company Rep".

Anonymous said...

I knew Donovan didn't mind playing footloose with the truth, but I sure didn't think he would outright lie. Probably shouldn't be surprised though. His only purpose is to mitigate complaints and deflect any responsibility for unethical practices.

Derek Donovan said...

Unlike Anonymous here, I will identify myself. Derek Donovan of The Star here. And she is lying through her teeth that I denied anything.

She claimed that "all your work is being done in India now." I didn't catch her meaning at first, because I work in the newsroom, not in the Advertising department where, yes, they have outsourced some -- nowhere near all -- work to Infosys in India. I don't have much to do with that department, and I frankly don't know a huge amount about their workflow.

I was confused by her assertion, because I'm always thinking about the newsroom, as my job is to evaluate fairness and accuracy in news coverage, as the box on Page A-2 says every day. While I do know a lot of operational stuff about the company in general, I'm not the corporate flack. If that were my job, I'd be doing a lousy job of it, considering I write hundreds of columns and blog posts voicing criticisms of the paper every year.

At any rate, there's nothing being outsourced to India from the newsroom, so I thought this person might have been confusing the fact that the Circulation department uses a call center in the Philippines for some calls.

Again: I didn't get what she was saying, because she was referring to a department I don't work in and have limited knowledge of.

This person also conveniently omits the fact that her conduct was extremely rude -- and the very first words out of her mouth were calling me a nasty name when she phoned a second time. If she'd kept her cool and I could have absorbed what she was saying, I would have of course confirmed that The Star is using some outsourcing in India in the Advertising department. That's not a secret. It was reported in the paper on May 15 of this year.