Cough it up for Kansas City Star

Daily newspapers continue to hunt for new revenue streams and PR
reps may now pay the price -- at least with one daily. A report
last week in Editor & Publisher says that the Kansas City (Mo.)
Star now plans to charge for business personnel announcements.
Starting tomorrow (March 9) businesses wanting to publicize new
hires, promotions and other employee-related notices will have to
pay $4.45 per line, including texts and photos. Paul Omodt, a VP
with Minneapolis-based PR firm Padilla Speer Beardsley (PSB) says
the decision could backfire on the newspaper. "It may start with
business promotions, but what's next?" Omodt says. "They have a
duty to provide information and, in drawing a line on what they
will accept, companies may draw the line on [the information] they
provide to newspapers, which will result in less coverage...I don't
think this is something in which [the Star] knows the full
parameters." Chris Lester, business editor of Kansas City Star,
says the daily is keeping an "open mind" about the new policy.
"We're still looking for news," he says. "If you think something is
newsworthy, pitch it and we'll get on it. We're not going to charge
for news." But for generic business announcements, it'll cost you a
fin -- at least.