The Kansas City Star has evolved beyond a print product to a 24/7 digital operation.
The Star has not missed a single day of covering the news in Kansas City since the first paper was printed almost 140 years ago. That’s more than 50,000 days in a row.
We’re not about to stop now.
A lot has changed in 14 decades. We’ve graduated from illustrations to photographs to video. From hot type to cold type to computer-generated newspaper pages. From morning and afternoon papers to a 24/7 digital news cycle.
And so now comes the latest turn in our ever-evolving business. As we announced near the end of last year, The Star’s Saturday edition in print is going away, beginning next weekend, March 14. Yesterday was our final Saturday paper.
Local news has never been more important
Let me explain what that means — and what it doesn’t. It certainly doesn’t mean we’ll be taking Fridays off.
It means that we are expanding our Friday and Sunday print editions, so subscribers will continue to get all their favorite Saturday features, including comics and puzzles. More on that in a minute.
It means they can still access a version of the Saturday paper on our digital e-edition. And importantly, it means readers will have all the same coverage we produce now — just on their phones, laptops, desktops and tablets.
Change is usually unwelcome when it comes to long-standing habits. We recognize and appreciate the difficulty some readers may have in the transition. And we are here to help.
But change is necessary in the business world, and we’re moving more of our resources into the digital side of our business because that is where we are growing — and impressively. The Star leads McClatchy (our parent company) in digital subscriptions, thanks to our loyal readers.
Meanwhile, print newspaper circulation has been declining in America for 70 years. Magazines and newspapers across the country have folded. Sports Illustrated is now a monthly.
We don’t undertake any of this lightly. Decisions like these will allow us to continue doing the community-service journalism we are known for — the kind of journalism that has earned The Star recognition as a Pulitzer Prize finalist the last two years, among many other national, regional and local awards.
With that, let’s get to the details on what’s coming:
▪ On Friday, we’re debuting Uplift, two new pages dedicated to good news. We’ll also publish an extra page of puzzles.
▪ Saturday’s puzzles, comics and classifieds will move to Sunday. We’re also adding a page of travel coverage to Sunday’s Arts+Culture section.
▪ The Saturday TV schedule will run with Friday’s grid.
▪ For those who receive The Olathe News, that product will be inserted in Friday’s paper instead of Saturday’s.
▪ The Hy-Vee Preps sports page will relocate to Sunday’s Sports section.
▪ The KC Gardens column and Faith Calendar will move to Sunday’s A+C section.
If they haven’t already, print subscribers can activate their digital accounts and read the Saturday e-edition’s traditional format, which features extra pages of national and world news, politics, business, sports, comics, puzzles and more coverage every day. Activating your account will also give you all the latest stories, columns, editorials, videos and podcasts available on kansascity.com.
We want you to have easy access to the news you pay for, because you’ve told us you want stories that hold leaders accountable, and in response, many of our journalists are tightly focused on watchdog journalism.
In the last few months alone, we published stories on America’s failing foster care system and the rampant injustice in Missouri’s underfunded public defender program. We exposed the Lawrence Police Department and district attorney’s shoddy treatment of rape victims. And in today’s editions, a Star analysis pulls back the curtain to reveal that, in the last two years, Missouri has spent nearly $10 million to settle lawsuits from former employees of the state’s troubled Department of Corrections, with taxpayers footing the bill.
The Star Editorial Board successfully advocated for the state of Kansas to compensate Lamonte McIntyre for the 23 years he spent in prison after being wrongfully convicted of murder. And the editorial board exposed the Kansas City Council’s secret plan to quietly push through a sales tax hike on the April ballot.
We had some fun, too, chronicling every step of the Chiefs’ dramatic march to the Super Bowl title and all the way down the parade route to Union Station. We wrote more than 400 Chiefs stories in that stretch, logged millions of page views and we’re still selling copies of the Monday Super Bowl edition.
Truly, we appreciate the long-term relationship we have with Kansas City, far deeper and longer than any other news outlet in town. Because of that support, our commitment to doing journalism without fear or favor is unwavering.
On behalf of everyone here at The Star, thank you for reading.