Tuesday, March 17, 2009

More misery at the Star?

Bottomline is reporting a new reckoning at the Star, another major round of cuts. Just followed all the links in the story and, frankly, I feel the need for a shower.

Looks like the Star is cutting back on the very areas logic would suggest it needs to survive – the local bureaus and the business section. Charging for its unusable television section seems yet another blunder.

Sad to see Rick Alm’s name among those Bottomline thinks got the axe. He is a tough minded gutsy reporter you grow to hate if you’re on the same story.

The Star remains a mystery to me. I’m not sure how a newspaper could be managed in a less reader-oriented manner. The writing remains predictable and turgid, the photography hidden, the design – oh the design! – well, you can’t really call it design. They are pounding the news into the same format every day -- twin gutters and three bumping heads, one large square photo and a circus at the bottom. Hard to imagine “design” as a verb in regard to this.

The Star was always easy to beat on a story – you couldn’t be first but you could always be better – (alas, unless you were up against Alm, among a few others...) This sounds silly to say, but since the 1960s they’ve had trouble finding their voice. None of what they’re doing now will help.



  1. It was a bad day across the country for a lot of reporters and staff at newspapers. Check out McClatchy Watch for information on the cuts at papers around the country.

    It is sad to see the death of newspapers, but it is definitely not the end of journalism.

    The REVOLUTION is underway. The question is what will take the place of newspapers and who will create it.

  2. I worked with a bunch of these guys at the Star, and seeing this list it's hard to imagine who's left. I worked for Mike Fitzgerald for a while. He's a good guy. Brent Frazee (who was moved to part-time) is one of the nicest men I've ever met.
    --Matt Kelsey