KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- The family-controlled company that owns the Kansas City Star has filed for bankruptcy, looking to hand control over to a private hedge fund. It’s no surprise that newspapers are struggling, but what’s next?
When the Super Bowl Champion Chiefs appeared on the cover of the Kansas City Star, the print copies of the newspaper attracted even those who rarely get ink on their hands.
“We paid our $5 and I went out and I bought about four or five of them,” said John Platt from Odessa.
The company filing for bankruptcy, McClatchy, owns the Star and 29 other papers. The main issue in their filing is pension obligations amid $700 million in debt. The filing said 40 percent of their revenue now comes from their digital platforms.
According to the AP, in 12 years McClatchy’s ad revenue fell by 80 percent.
Consider the classified ads. Remember those? “I usually go to Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist,” said Amy Hall from KC.
“I have grandparents who say I ‘should read this,’ so they hand me a physical newspaper,” said Drew Snider from Peculiar. “Most of the news I get is, I will check something on my phone or I will get a text from someone saying, ‘Hey, did you hear this happened?’”
“I like Sunday papers across the nation because they always put the best product out there,” said Kirt Williams.
Back in November, McClatchy announced it would stop printing the Saturday edition of its papers.
Today the CEO told one of McClatchy’s reporters the company would “continue to pursue our strategy of digital transformation.” They didn’t give specifics on that, but it does make one wonder how long before they stop the presses altogether. And would that, we asked, be a bad thing?
“I think it’s more nostalgia,” Williams said. “I do keep articles and stuff too.”
“Dewey Defeats Truman,” Platt said. “All these things are iconic Americana, but things change.”
“Times change and I think companies need to adapt to how we absorb news now,” Hall said.
The main concern was that a new direction keeps quality journalism intact while still reflecting how people want to get it.