Skip to comments.Two Kansas City Star reporters told to choose who gets sacked
Posted on 12/13/2012 1:33:01 PM PST by Hojczyk
You could call it the Hunger Games approach to layoffs one thats getting a big thumbs-down from workplace experts.
The Kansas City Star recently told two of its journalists, Karen Dillon and Dawn Bormann, that only one of them could keep her job -- and the employees themselves would have to decide who should leave the company, according to the media blog JimRomenesko.com.
Dillion confirmed the report in an e-mail to NBC News, but did not provide any more details. The investigative reporter has worked for the Kansas City Star since 1991, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Bormann did not answer an e-mail seeking comment. She reportedly is leaving the company, according to KC Confidential, a blog that covers Kansas City issues.
On Monday, Mi-Ai Parrish, president and publisher of the Kansas City Star, announced in a memo to staffers a new round of layoffs -- the third since she joined the company in 2011, according to MediaKC, a blog that covers media issues.
In a statement e-mailed to NBC News late Wednesday, Parrish said the paper was cutting its workforce by 17 positions.
"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 said.
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.
Workplace experts said its practically unheard of for a company to take this approach when deciding who to terminate for good reason.
I would strongly caution any organization from insourcing layoff decisions to the employees.
(Excerpt) Read more at nbcnews.com ...
Wow I feel...absolutely nothing but humor to watch a bunch of butthead reporters losing their jobs.
I guess all those stories they write about the roaring economy are lies....
With management skills like this, how could the newspaper possibly be in financial straits?
When false prophets are put in a cage with only one coming out, it’s only half a good thing.
The Kansas City Star recently told two of its journalists, Karen Dillon and Dawn Bormann, that only one of them could keep her job — and the employees themselves would have to decide who should leave the company, according to the media blog JimRomenesko.com.
Reminds me of an old joke....
Revised for the occasion.
Jack and Jill were two very fine reporters for the Kansas City Star. But times were tough.
One day the editor called Jill into his office and said; “Times are tough. I’m afraid I have to lay you or Jack off.”
Jill said; “Well you’re not laying me, so you better start....”
Sacked? Or hop in the sack (to save your job)?
Yet another reason I don’t subscribe to that rag.
Normally I would be apalled at this decision but since it involves employees of the MSM then I'm all for it.
In fact, I have several scenarios such as a cage fight or even a "Survivor" episode where the employer drops both of them in the middle of south Los Angeles and keeps the one who survives..........
We’re adding a little something to this month’s sales contest. As you all know,
first prize is a Cadillac Eldorado.
Second prize is a set of steak knives.
Third prize is you’re fired.
The way I heard it was:
Jill replies, “Well you’re gonna have to ____ ___ ‘cause my ride’s already here.”
The Joker: [to Gambol’s thugs, being held helpless by his own] Now, our operation is small, but there’s a lot of potential for “aggressive” expansion. So, which one of you fine gentlemen would like to join our team? Oh, there’s only one spot open right now, so we’re gonna have...
[breaks pool cue over knee]
The Joker: Tryouts.
[throws broken pool cue at the thugs]
The Joker: Make it fast.
They didn’t have to fire anybody; they could have offered them the opportunity to continue working without pay.
Unemployment benefits are a huge boost to the economy!(/S)
The atmosphere will only get more toxic.
“OK Boss. We both agree - you should be layed off.”
Tell the employees it is a fight to the finish, everything goes, no holds barred.
Then see how many stand by their ‘principled’ opposition to the 2nd Amendment.
(It’s what the rest of the nation is going to be facing BECAUSE of the media...reporters may as well get used to it too.)
Will Fox News utilize this process when they downsize? And are winner-take-all oil wrestling matches being considered?
Keep the Dillon woman (they did). She broke the Pee Wee Herman story as a reporter in Sarasota, FL.
Reminder to self: Don’t major in ‘Journalism’. Fortunately, I followed that advice.
All joking aside, this kind of piss poor management would almost certainly warrant workplace harassment suits by both women against the manager and the paper.
Isn’t this just an example of workplace democracy that the left pushes for?
Ohh! My Eye!!!!!
27 posted on Thu Dec 13 2012 19:01:31 GMT-0600 (Central Standard Time) by sgtyork: “Ohh! My Eye!!!!!”
Okay, enough jokes about her name. She's Korean, and married to an American husband.
And since her photo has become an issue, here's a better photo of her:
You don't want to even try to pronounce my wife's name or my daughter's name. There are reasons why in the United States our family uses English names taken from Scripture rather than the original Korean names which are unpronounceable and unspellable to many Americans. My English name is unpronounceable and unspellable to Koreans, so sooner or later my Korean relatives will probably come up with some sort of Korean name for me, too.
She is a member of the Asian-American Journalists Association, and has done some ticket-punching at some fairly decent moderately conservative newspapers. I don't know her personally in any way, but I do live in Missouri, I do know people working for the Kansas City Star, and from what I know of her reputation, I think the Kansas City Star could probably have done a whole lot worse. It is a major metro newspaper in serious trouble that's part of a left-of-center newspaper chain whose powerhouse papers are leftist operations on the West Coast, so anything even close to moderate in the head office is better than many alternatives.
A few years ago back when she was at the Idaho Stateman out in Boise, she was one of only three Asian publishers of mainsteam (i.e., non-ethnic) daily newspapers. I do not know how many there are now, but Asian publishers are pretty rare.
Here are some profile pieces on her:
And here's her denial of the report that she let employees choose which one would get the axe: http://www.bottomlinecom.com/star-publisher-denies-reports-employees-forced-to-choose/
My guess about this situation — and it's purely a guess with absolutely zero inside information — is that she was trying an Asian collegiality method to manage workplace issues that blew up in her face.
Asian woman in management have a reputation for being “dragon ladies.” I guess I'd rather see a top-level Asian woman try to manage by consensus than throw more logs on the fire of the well-earned “dragon lady” stereotype.
Spent a year in Tong du Chon RPK so I’m pretty comfortable with Korean names. Since when can’t we be silly here?
The second picture is quite attractive. Too bad she’s a member of the journalism trade.
Just follow the bouncing ball and just work/pay them BOTH 20-22 hrs a week.
Two stones with one bird.
Ate many of the five hundred varieties of kimchee in ROK
BTW. She doesn’t appear Asian in the first picture.
Bottom line: I think we all have better things to do than focus on jokes about people's names. We also have all had unflattering photos taken of ourselves.
No problem, SgtYork... I don't mind being silly. If I were actually annoyed you'd get a different response.
I don't know Mrs. Parrish personally at all so none of this should be taken as any kind of personal defense of her. I just have personal experience with mangling of Korean names. My daughter Hyo-kyung got sick and tired of being called every strange name imaginable, including “Hong Kong,” so we legally changed her first name to Elizabeth and use “Hyo-Kyung” as her middle name.
FYI, you're talking to a “member of the journalism trade.” I've been a Freeper for a half-dozen years and lurked before that. Not all of us in the media are leftists who hate America... ;-)
However, I freely grant that it's pretty hard to be a conservative and survive, let alone succeed, at an outfit like McClatchy. I know zero about Mrs. Parrish's politics but if she's anything other than a liberal, I wish her good luck trying to function at the Kansas City Star. She needs it.
Isn’t this thing solved instantly with a coin flip?
That’s how two men would do it.
BTW, thanks for posting the good news about a scumbag Democrat newspaper slowly dying.
I hope it’s long and excruciating, and costs the owners a ton of money before the final death kick.
(Yes, the Kansas City Star endorsed the African communist Ubama.)
I want everybody who works for a Democrat “mainstream” newsroom to lose their jobs, their homes, and their families. For what they have done to America they deserve nothing less.
“My guess about this situation and it’s purely a guess with absolutely zero inside information is that she was trying an Asian collegiality method to manage workplace issues that blew up in her face.”
Good thing for them she’s not a Klingon...
I like Korean TV and stuff.
Mi-Ai sounds like a perfectly reasonable name to me. Of course tacking an English name on the end can be a bit weird. Sometimes you see Korean (and other Asian) actors/actresses taking English FIRST names (sometimes simply transliterations) but last names not so much
Not going there... ;-)
From what I can gather, the Kansas City forty-something publisher has a major problem on her hands and it's not going to get better. Apparently this isn't the first time the paper tried this “you two decide who leaves” strategy, but until now it didn't blow up.
Apparently both women reporters considered for losing their jobs have significant family responsibilities for children or grandchildren, and it looks like the spectacle of a female publisher asking two female employees with family responsibilities to decide which one would voluntarily leave is what got the media interest. But lots of details are unclear and it is not at all certain that the initial reports are accurate.
On a more serious point, I've had to eliminate or recommend eliminating people in the past at previous newspapers due to company financial issues or individual performance issues. So far, every time I've been able to handle it via voluntary resignations. I do not need to deal with such issues today, but I hope to add staff in the next two years, and with the economy being what it is, that is a serious risk. I'm not looking forward to the first time I have to lay someone off for financial reasons that are not their fault, rather than let them leave on their own through attrition.
I prefer rock/paper/scissors...best two out of three.
Dave Parrish is a retired investigative reporter who wrote this Pulitzer Prize winning story for the Orange County Register:
Back in 1995, the Orange County Register was still an explicitly libertarian newspaper. I used to work for a smaller newspaper in that same newspaper chain. Since her husband's Pulitzer came as an Orange County Register reporter and was part of an expose of improper activities at a fertility clinic. I'm guessing that may mean Mi-Ai Parrish is not exactly a screaming radical leftist, but I have no idea.