Layoffs can be ugly no matter how they are handled. Lives can be ruined.
But the Kansas City Star might have taken the stress of being laid off to a new level by telling at least two employees recently for them to determine which one will stay at the McClatchy-owned paper, and which one will likely hit the unemployment line.
Earlier this week it was revealed that Star Publisher Mi-Ai Parrish issued an employee memo right before the holidays that discussed the newspaper’s latest round of layoffs.
According to MediaKC it was the third round of layoffs instituted by Parrish since joining the paper in 2011.
It has been challenging trying to determine who is being let go at the Star or the total numbers impacted, but one story about the layoffs has been confirmed by Bottom Line: Superb reporters Karen Dillon and Dawn Bormann were told to determine themselves which one will stay at the Star and which one will go.
They were given a week to work it out.
Bottom Line highlighted Bormann, a 14-year Star veteran, for a wonderful story she wrote earlier this year about a local teacher. Dillon, the KC Press Club’s 2010 “Journalist of the Year” and a 20-year veteran, was highlighted here for a superb story in April highlighting how Johnson County developers have land zoned for agricultural use.
And now either Bormann or Dillon will have a job entering the new year.
And one won’t…
UPDATE: Journalism blogger Jim Romenesko reports (12/12) that Dillon told him “we’ve not made an official decision” on who gets to stay. “It’s one of the most difficult situations I’ve ever faced.”
UPDATE (12/13): MediaKC is reporting that KC Star Publisher Mi-Ai Parrish says her newspaper is cutting its workforce by 17 positions in the latest round of layoffs.
“These are always difficult decisions, so we will on occasion allow employees to volunteer for a severance package when we are reducing in areas where there are two or more of the same types of positions,” Parrish told NBC News.
She added that if an employee in a group does not volunteer, “then the person with the least amount of tenure is included in the severance program.” Parrish declined further comment on personnel decisions