Tuesday, March 10, 2009
The Mine Shaft collapses in KC
It's hard to jump on the bandwagon of people slamming The Star for the next round in cuts, layoffs, wailing and gnashing of teeth.
I still have friends there who toil away until the midnight hours working their less-than-famous beats (We can't all be overpaid sports columnists).
However, it is easy to jump on the What-the-Fuck-was-Zieman-thinking bandwagon — especially after remembering the all-newsroom meeting he held that left some of the reporters all in a general state of agitation and confusion back in the day.
I blogged about this back in 2007 when I experienced my first big newsroom meeting about cuts and such. At the time, Zieman was just the executive editor and was trying to reassure us, his flock of reporters, that everything was going to be OK.
He did this by saying that working for the paper of record in KC was like working in a collapsed Mineshaft where we were all stuck and could potentially die.
...wow, I feel bolstered about the indusrty already...but bear with me, he had an overhead and a dry erase marker to demostrate what he was saying.
The "rescue crew," which was a metaphor or euphemism or something for the Internet, was going to save us all! HUZZAH! But, in the meantime, we will just need to hold our breaths a little longer until they arrive and endure some cuts, oxygen poisioning and possibly dysentary.
He made references to the fact that people won't make it and would not survive the coming stick-figure Internet rescue squad, but eventually we would all persevere.
Additionally he added that "We need to be as concerned about reader penetration as McDonald's is about hamburger penetration."
Um, what, boss? I can only hope that this general state of confusion and bewliderment is what is leading that fine institution.
But this tale of dying miner reporters and how Quilt Books would save the KC Star did not stay within the confines of our newsroom meeting. No, from what I heard a year later from other reporters, Zieman was taking his story of Minshaft snuff and sharing it as a motivation point to other newspaper editors around the country.
Well, looks like everyone in the business got a taste of the KC Kool-aide.