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Kansas City Star Parent Files For Bankruptcy Protection

Feb 13, 2020
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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.

Chris Haxel / KCUR 89.3

Commuters interested in conspiracy theories about George Soros, Hillary Clinton and the Republican National Committee have a new option, courtesy of the Russian government.

Early this month, a radio station based in Liberty, Missouri, signed a three-year deal to broadcast Radio Sputnik across Kansas City.

The English-language programming airs for three hours each morning and again in the evening on three frequencies controlled by KCXL: 1140 AM, 102.9 FM and 104.7 FM.

Segment 1: Media bias and covering assassination in Iraq

Our Media Critics discussed early coverage of a top Iranian commander's assasination, and how continuing coverage could influence public opinion. The critics also discussed how both journalists and news consumers can manage their own personal biases.

Segment 1: A memo from journalists in the Midwest: Stop calling us flyover country

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Kansas City is one of the few metropolitan areas of its size in the country without a full-time classical music broadcaster.

That may be about to change.

KCUR 89.3 has signed an agreement to purchase KWJC 91.9 FM from William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, with the intention of bringing 24-hour classical music programming to Kansas City. On Thursday, KCUR — Kansas City’s public radio station — filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission to approve the purchase.

Segment 1: How mass shootings in the news affect people.

Wall-to-wall coverage of mass shootings has become the norm. An expert joins callers to discuss the repercussions, and to consider what type of coverage news consumers really want. 

  • Katherine Reed, professor of practice, Missouri School of Journalism

Segment 2: The Kansas Citian writing the next generation of role playing games.

Segment 1: Getting more women in the male-dominated world of sports management and media. 

Women have made great advances as coaches, managers, and sportscasters, but still rarely hold the same top spots as their male counterparts. So what would it take to get more women involved? We ask a panel of sports journalists what is needed to give women a better opportunity to secure some these coveted positions.

File photo

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.

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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.”

Segment 1: Local lawyer finds a niche in space law.

Space is an exciting new frontier challenging humanity to advance in math, science, and engineering. But what is it mean for advances in the law. Who owns space? We hear from a Kansas City lawyer who has made a name for himself in dealing with the ownership of objects originating from space.

  • Chris McHugh, lawyer

Segment 2, beginning at 15:25: Instagram stars of Kansas City.

Segment 1: 2018 has been an interesting year for politics in Clay County.

From a grassroots petition to audit the Clay County government to controversy surrounding a candidate running for Missouri House District 15, we look at meaningful headlines affecting communities north of the river.

  • Amy Neal, Regional News Director for NPG Newspapers in the Northland

Segment 2, beginning at 15:59: Many Americans have polarizing viewpoints on the media. The truth is even more complicated.

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.

GOOGLE

Segment 1: The mindset of asylum-seekers in Trump's America.

Sticking to his campaign promise of strictly enforcing the law at our southern border, President Trump's immigration policies resulted in thousands of migrant children being seperated from their parents. Though he ended that policy with an executive order last week, families crossing illegally are still being detained with children. Today, we heard a first-hand account of what it's like living in a family detention center.

File Photo / Kansas News Service

Segment 1: A review of the Kansas veto session.

Kansas lawmakers concluded their veto session on Friday, ending the 2018 legislative session with significant votes on adoption law and gun rights. To help us understand what these laws could mean for the state, we spoke with Kansas News Service reporters covering events at the Capitol.

Updated May 8 at 8:30 a.m. with new recommendations —

Some degrees slated to be dropped at the University of Missouri-St. Louis appear to have been saved.

UMSL administrators released final recommendations Monday on a restructuring effort designed to save the public institution money. The entire University of Missouri System is going through a similar process at the direction of President Mun Choi.

David DeHetre / Flickr -- CC

After the 2016 presidential election, many people were surprised by Donald Trump's win. National news organizations sent reporters out to so-called "Trump country," trying to figure out what they missed. We take a look at how stories that unfold nationally play out in Midwestern states.

Then: A look back at the fight for gay rights in Kansas. KCUR's C.J. Janovy shares stories of activists who both struggled and found solidarity in an inhospitable state.

Guests:

CTUCC / Flickr - CC

On this holiday commemorating Martin Luther King Jr., Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. offers his thoughts on the slain civil rights leader, and critiques President Donald Trump's recent tributes to Dr. King and Rosa Parks.

Michael Vadon / Flickr - CC

From ushering Donald Trump into the White House to NFL players taking a knee to a mass shooting at a Baptist church in Texas, much of the major news of the past year involved religion.

The Pitch / The Pitch

The fulfillment of a "long-term dream." That's how the new owners of The Pitch describe their acquisition of the Kansas City alternative magazine, which was announced Tuesday.

Carey Media, LLC, says it closed a deal to buy The Pitch from Tennessee-based SouthComm on the final day of 2017. SouthComm bought the magazine in 2011. 

Ted Eytan / Flickr- CC

For a lot of journalists, 2017 was all about keeping up. A faster and faster news cycle demands more speed and more accuracy, and media consumers have never been more skeptical. Today, the Media Critics discuss how journalists have covered the big stories of the last year, and why mistrust is so common among audiences.

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Earlier this year, Karen Fuller, a former news anchor at KCTV-5, sued the station's owner, alleging the company created an age-ceiling for female anchors. Today, our Media Critics ask: Why is it common to have older newsmen on television but rare to see women anchors of a similar age?

Courtesy Oskar Landi / Urban Romances, A Sundance Selects Release

Recently, the Columbia Journalism Review dedicated an entire issue to the state of local news, featuring a map revealing "news deserts" in the U.S. What is the status of local news sources in our small Midwestern towns?

Plus, ballet icon and Kansas City native Misty Copeland is back in town touring her new book, Ballerina Body

Guests:

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

From the mainstreaming of social media to "fake news" indictments from the chief executive, the journalism industry is in the midst of sweeping transformation. Today, the dean of the Missouri School of Journalism explains how his school teaches new reporters to adapt to the current and future media environments.

News-Press & Gazette Company

The Northland’s Liberty Tribune newspaper, one of the oldest weeklies in the country, recently rolled off the printing press for the last time. Since 1846, residents had unfurled their own paper published under the motto, “Willing to praise but not afraid to blame.”

However, with circulation figures in slow decline, a merger with the Kearney Courier and the Smithville Herald allowed the owners, the News-Press & Gazette Company, to cut costs.

Three positions are gone, bringing total staff down to 15. The Smithville office has also closed.

Claire Tadokoro / KCUR 89.3

Alexander Heffner thinks a lot about how to get millennials engaged in politics. Perhaps because he is one himself. Today, the host of PBS' The Open Mind, talks about framing old policy arguments in new ways and whether the media is fulfilling its civic duty. Then, we learn about the life of a Kansas City mermaid who — gasp! — doesn't like seafood!

Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons file photo

President Trump has referred to major media outlets such as The New York Times and CNN as "the enemy of the American people." But what does that unwanted title mean for journalists, and journalism itself, moving forward? We bring in the Media Critics to answer that one. Also, should a news outlet assign reporters based on race? Find out what our panel thinks about the recent lawsuit between a local reporter and television news station involving that very issue.

The Pitch / The Pitch

After 37 years, Kansas City's alternative magazine The Pitch will go from weekly issues to monthly. Editor Scott Wilson told KCUR's Gina Kaufmann about the changes Monday on Central Standard.

"The web has changed the way we report," said Wilson. "Things aren't just issue to issue anymore. We'll now get to present long-form journalism, we haven't had the space to do that in a while."

Wilson also emphasized that the publication wouldn't change in "tone or quality."

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

A shooting at an Olathe sports bar last week killed Srinivas Kuchibhotla and wounded his friend Alok Madasani, as well as bar patron, Ian Grillot, who tried to intervene. Witnesses say the two Indian-American men were targeted, claiming the gunman opened fire shouting, "Get out of my country!"

We hear how that anti-foreign rhetoric and the tragedy of the shooting are affecting members of our community, particularly those from South Asia.

Cody Newill / KCUR 89.3

We often hear and read about the need for diverse sources in the media, particularly when it comes to news. The question of who is given voice is critically important to understanding what informs our view of the world.

Along those lines, I wanted to understand which voices are given opportunity to share their perspective on the program I’m responsible for producing — KCUR’s Central Standard. So I started surveying our on-air guests in early January 2016.

Sgt. Alicia Brand / U.S. Army

The president's lambasting of certain outlets as "fake news" has strained relations between the executive branch and the Fourth Estate. Today, the Media Critics discuss whether or not the journalism playbook should be rewritten to cover an unprecedented administration.

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