Our Sunday newspaper was late this morning. My guess is our delivery driver overslept, or maybe he or she had the day off for Easter and a substitute driver was slow to cover the route.
The paper finally showed up at about 8:30 a.m. When I first went outside to collect the paper at 7:45 and found the driveway empty, my second thought was that my subscription had lapsed.
My first thought was that the Kansas City Star had finally gone under.
It scared me a little that the worst-case scenario was my first instinct. A year ago - or even a few months ago - I would have just assumed that I forgot to pay my bill.
I have no doubt that eventually the Kansas City Star and most newspapers will cease to exist in their current form. I don't think it's going to happen soon, though; I think newspapers (including the Star) will be around a lot longer than people expect.
But is this how it will happen? Will the city just wake up one morning and find its driveways empty?
I've been through the closure of a newspaper - a small paper, sure, but still an important part of the community. From my perch in the editor's office I obviously felt the impact - I lost my job, and I heard hundreds of comments from a disappointed community. But it must be a different thing altogether to count on a newspaper every day and then, suddenly, NOT have it.
One more note - we've gotten some great Internet vibes from Lofflin's insightful and thought-provoking post about the current state of the Star, including this post at Bottom Line Communications. In the post, John Landsberg calls the Henry Wiggen Blog "One of the most interesting blogs around."
Thanks for the love, John! I think I can speak for Lofflin when I say when it comes to covering media issues in KC, nobody does it like Bottom Line.