Another season, more layoffs.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reportedly laid off another dozen employees, most of them in the newsroom. This follows a downsizing trend that’s been going on for several years at the city’s only major daily.
The cuts include some big names — Managing Editor Lois Norder and longtime movie critic Christopher Kelly.
Art & Seek quoted Kelly as saying, “The Star-Telegram’s generous severance package is affording me something I’ve been craving for a long time, which is the opportunity to step away from the 24-7 news coverage cycle for awhile and breathe a little bit.”
I always envisioned movie critics just sitting in dark, air-conditioned movie theaters, watching foreign films, and picking popcorn out of their teeth.
Who knew they were out in the trenches 24-7 chasing hard news? Yeah, right.
Kelly’s a nice guy and a talented entertainment writer, and his byline will continue to appear in Texas Monthly, Texas Tribune, and other news media.
Media observer JimRomenesko.com says managing editor for digital, Kathy Vetter, will oversee the entire local news budget as the paper slowly steers its listing ship toward a digital media focus. I worked with Vetter for several years in the 1990s and she is more than capable.
Norder worked at the paper for more than 20 years and was a respected leader.
Meanwhile. Star-T owner McClatchy is seeing its stock price languish below $2 — down from $5.50 early last year.
In 2005, McClatchy stocks traded at about $58 a share.
Laid off reporters often find their way into public relations jobs. As this trend continues, it’s obvious what’s happening — more writers are being paid to spin news rather than to accurately report the news.
That can’t be good.