Star-T Named “Endangered” Newspaper

Fort Worth paper placed on "endangered" list.

Just seven years ago, a journalism watchdog group called it the "best staffed newspaper" in America. But today, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram is on a list of the "10 most endangered newspapers" in the country.

An article published by Time magazine said the Star-T may not survive the economic downturn and the paper could disappear or become part of its rival, The Dallas Morning News

In an interview Tuesday, the newspaper's publisher, Gary Wortel, insisted the Star-Telegram will survive. 

"We are still going to produce a very healthy and good quality newspaper as we have in the past," said Wortel. "We'll adjust to the business environment as we go." 

The paper has already increased its prices, cut staff, and cut wages.  In an announcement last week, the paper, which is owned by McClatchy Co., said it would cut an additional 12 percent of its workforce.

Greg Saurnman, a regular reader of the paper, said he appreciates the Star-Telegram's unique local voice.  "I think it helps with the identity of the community, and you get more localized information", he said. 

If it does survive, TCU journalism professor John Tisdale said the Star-Telegram will probably never return to the levels of news coverage and staffing it once had. 

"There's nothing to indicate they're going to do better or increase the number of employees, everything is pointing in a negative direction," Tisdale said.  "Their staff is down to the point where three people are doing the jobs of six, seven or eight."

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