Kansas City Star | KCUR

Kansas City Star

Courtesy Overland Park Historical Society

The Kansas City Star’s front page on December 7, 1997, made a big splash about the $500 million construction just starting in the southern metro area.  

“Sprint makes history with its headquarters,” the headline read, adding that it was “so big it will have its own ZIP code and power substation."

This week, two more headlines showed that the respective heydays for Sprint and the Star are now history, as Sprint lurches closer to a merger with a competitor and the Star announced the bankruptcy of its parent company.

Kansas City Star Parent Files For Bankruptcy Protection

Feb 13, 2020
WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

This is a developing story and will be updated.  

The parent company of the Kansas City Star has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in New York. 

McClatchy Co., which owns The Kansas City Star and Wichita Eagle, says it hopes to shed about 60 percent of its $703 million in outstanding debt obligations as it continues its transition to digital media.

Segment 1: A Kansas native moderated the last Democratic debate in Iowa.

Brianne Pfannenstiel grew up in Lawrence and got her first job in journalism at the Kansas City Star. Now that she's in a state with a huge voice in this year's election, we wanted to know: How does she feel the Midwest is represented in national discourse today? What does she think of Iowa's role specifically? And, what is it like to moderate a national debate?

Simon and Schuster

How did Harry Houdini make an elephant disappear?

It happened in 1918 in New York. One night, the great magician showed the audience a huge cabinet. After feeding Jennie the elephant some sugar, she was led inside. Curtains were closed around the cabinet. And when they reopened, Jennie was gone.

Wikimedia Commons

The parent company of The Kansas City Star plans to eliminate the Saturday print editions of its 30 newspapers by the end of next year.

The McClatchy Company, the second largest newspaper chain in the country, previously announced plans to eliminate Saturday print editions in 12 of its markets, including Wichita. The Wichita Eagle notified subscribers last month that it would move to digital-only coverage on Saturdays after Nov. 16.

In a conference call with analysts on Wednesday, McClatchy President and CEO Craig Forman said the rest of the company’s newspapers will move to digital-only on Saturdays by 2020.

Cody Newill / KCUR 89.3

Tony Berg is out as publisher of The Kansas City Star and Mike Fannin, its editor since 2008, has been named president of the newspaper.

Segment 1: State task force on bullying looks to multiple stakeholders for information on harmful harassing behavior 

The Kansas Department of Education has brought together educators, legislators, students and others to garner recommendations as part of its efforts "to better understand how to combat" bullying. The co-chair of the task force discussed how big the problem is, the impact of technology as a means of bullying and why application of the state policies on bullying may not be applied equally by school districts across Kansas.    

Kansas Legislature

Kansas Sen. Jim Denning may be on the hook for about $90,000 in legal fees after a judge threw out his defamation claims against The Kansas City Star and former Star guest columnist Steve Rose.

That’s because the Kansas Public Speech Protection Act, which is meant to discourage lawsuits that chill free speech, allows prevailing parties to recover their costs of litigation and “reasonable attorney fees.”  

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A Johnson County judge on Tuesday tossed out a defamation lawsuit brought by Kansas Sen. Majority Leader Jim Denning against The Kansas City Star, finding Denning failed to prove malice.

Judge Paul Gurney also ordered Denning to pay the newspaper’s attorney fees, which could run as high as $40,000.

Gurney ruled that Denning had not met the requirements of the Kansas Speech Protection Act, which is designed to end meritless lawsuits that target the exercise of free speech.

Segment 1: Weird Weather Words.

Bomb Cyclone. Polar Vortex. Snowmageddon. If you've listened to weather forecasts as of late, there have been some really strange words. Why is that, and what do they mean?

  • Al Pietrycha, science and operations officer, National Weather Service

Segment 2, beginning at 15:23: KC's Culinary DNA

Google asked the question: where has Kansas City's food scene been and where is it headed? In this conversation, we find out how a local food critic answered.

Journalism: Past And Future

Apr 9, 2019

The Kansas City Star is the "paper of record" in town, but its staff has recently faced tough layoffs. And they're not alone — the entire journalism industry is changing, too. In this conversation, we discuss the history and future of journalism.

  • Scott Reinardy, journalism professor, University of Kansas
  • Dan Margolies, senior reporter and editor, KCUR 89.3
  • Hannah Wise, audience development editor, Dallas Morning News

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Kansas Sen. Jim Denning’s defamation lawsuit against The Kansas City Star should be thrown out because the First Amendment protects even untruthful speech, the newspaper asserted in a court filing Wednesday.

In a brief supporting its motion made last month to strike Denning’s petition, The Star says that Denning would be unable to show that the newspaper acted with “actual malice” when it published a column by unpaid guest columnist Steve Rose about Denning’s opposition to Medicaid expansion.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

A little more than a week after 10 longtime journalists took their leave from the Kansas City Star in what was seen by some people as a blow to local journalism, former police and courts reporter Tony Rizzo was enjoying his new-found free time.

Segment 1: Panel discussion with recent retirees of The Kansas City Star. 

Three senior journalists who accepted the most recent buyout offer from The Star's parent company McClatchey discussed reduction of staff and coverage at the newspaper, how journalism and the city they covered for decades have changed as well the continuing need for basic community news.

Creative Commons

Seg. 1: A recent poll shows Jolie Justus and Steve Miller leading the race for Kansas City mayor, but nearly 30 percent of voters are undecided.

Kansas City Kansas Public Schools

Segment 1: Can news comsumers tell the difference between fact and opinion?

Turn on any news channel and try to determine if you're hearing fact or opinion. Can you do it? That's one of the topics our Media Critics tackled today, along with what is behind the brewing legal battle between Kansas Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning and the Kansas City Star. They also dig into the coverage of the alleged assault of actor Jussie Smollett.

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This story has been updated to include additional names of employees who accepted buyout offers.

More than half a dozen marquee reporters at The Kansas City Star have accepted buyouts from the newspaper’s parent company.

Today was the deadline for accepting the offers, which were extended by McClatchy Co., the Sacramento, California-based owner of The Star, a few weeks ago.

File photos

The feud between former Kansas City Star guest columnist Steve Rose and Kansas Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning has escalated.

In a statement defending the column that provoked Denning to sue The Star and Rose for defamation, Rose insisted Denning made the comments he attributed to him – if perhaps at a different time than his column suggested.

Rose said Denning made the disparaging remarks about Medicaid recipients he cited in his Jan. 26 column during an hourlong get-together the two had at Houlihan’s restaurant in Fairway, Kansas.

Dan Margolies / KCUR 89.3

This story was updated to include Sen. Jim Denning's comments.

The Kansas City Star came out swinging Friday in response to a defamation lawsuit filed last month by Kansas Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning.

The newspaper asked a Johnson County court judge to strike the lawsuit and penalize Denning, his attorney and the attorney’s law firm for violating the Kansas Public Speech Protection Act.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Kansas City photographers William Fambrough and Matthew Washington captured the African-American experience in Kansas City. 

For a long time African Americans did not have the same documented written sources as others in this country. Historian Delia Cook Gillis says this is one reason why visual images are important. They document lost narratives with an artistic story. Gillis talked about the importance of remembering African American history, and about two photographers who helped to do just that in Kansas City.  

Harpers470 / Flickr--CC

Segment 1: Kansas City Chiefs tax documents shed light on revenue streams for NFL teams.

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McClatchy Co., the parent company of The Kansas City Star and the Wichita Eagle, is offering buyouts to about 10 percent of its workforce.

In an email to employees on Friday, McClatchy President and CEO Craig Forman said the company was “rolling out two major initiatives,” including “a voluntary early retirement program for qualified colleagues, as we continue to align the size of our workforce to the changes that come with digital transformation.”

The email said about 450 McClatchy employees would be receiving “a voluntary early retirement offer today via email.”

File photo

Kansas City Star columnist Steve Rose handed in his resignation Saturday after Kansas Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning accused Rose of falsely attributing statements to him about Medicaid expansion.

Rose, who is not an employee of The Star but has written a political column for the newspaper for years, told KCUR that The Star accepted his resignation on Monday.

In a brief phone interview, Rose said he has been writing columns for nearly 50 years “and I’ve never made anything up and I can prove that what he is saying is absolutely wrong.”

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: "My goal is to fight for the people of my community and solve problems," says Rep. Kevin Yoder.

More than a century of newspaper history ends today when The Kansas City Star staff moves from its historic quarters at 1729 Grand into new space in the Press Pavilion across McGee Street.

Missouri News Horizon

Segment 1: KCUR's interview with Kevin Yoder about the treatment of immigrant detainees at the U.S.-Mexico border.

KCUR's Kyle Palmer spoke with U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS) on the seperation of parents and children coming across United States' southern border. 

Segment 2, starting at 8:33: A look at Mike Kehoe, the newly appointed lieutenant governor of Missouri. 

Paul Andrews / paulandrewsphotography.com

In the early 2000s, Tim Finn was raising two young daughters while working as The Kansas City Star's full-time pop music critic. His wife, Lauren Chapin, was the paper's food critic. They were eating in restaurants, bringing home tons of free music and going to shows all the time. He still wonders whether his daughters thought that was just how people lived.

"They must have thought, 'Wow, this is ... you know, what a glorious life.' And it was."

Tim Finn

Jun 18, 2018

Tim Finn has been a fixture in Kansas City's music scene since the late 1990s. As the Kansas City Star's music critic, he covered local and national acts from 1996 until he was laid off in May.

  • Tim Finn, music critic

Nightryder84 / Wikimedia--CC

The Kansas City Star laid off 10 newsroom employees on Tuesday, McClatchy Company spokeswoman Jeanne Segal confirmed. McClatchy operates 30 daily newspapers across the country, including the Star.

Segment 1: What should we consider when naming a street after Martin Luther King, Jr.?

Kansas City is one of the few cities in the country that doesn't have an MLK Boulevard. A discussion on the movement to rename The Paseo after Martin Luther King, Jr.

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