As if things have not been ugly enough at Kansas City's leading newspaper in the past, the word now is that on Monday (and possibly Tuesday) the latest newsroom layoffs at the Kansas City Star will be greater than the three previous news layoffs---combined.On Monday publisher Mark Zieman said the KC Star will lay off about 150 employees.
The word is there have been very heated arguments in the newsroom involving Managing Editor Steve Shirk over who which journalists will be let go and which ones will be retained.
One source close to the situation reports about 67 people will be affected in the newsroom, which will impact the news product even more dramatically than previous cutbacks. There is even talk of the local and business sections being eliminated and incorporated into the "A" section.
In addition, a number of people will have their hours cut to 32, including some columnists. Two columnists already mentioned with reduced hours (and pay) include Mike Hendricks and Steve Penn.
"I don't think that the term 'newsroom armegeddon' is too strong of a term," said a source close to the situation. The source pointed out that the Star charging customers 25 cents for its TV guide (link) and fining carriers $5 for missed deliveries (link) are just two indications of how grim things really are on Grand Blvd.
"...those things are bad, but having no staff to put together a paper is even worse. The reporters working there will need months of therapy when all of this is over."