Critical Mass

Kansas City Star Keeps Book Editor


NBCC member John Mark Eberhart, Books Editor of The Kansas City Star, reports on the changes at his newspaper:

I’m happy to say that I am still employed by The Kansas City Star, and that I am still the book review editor here. We had buyout offers the first week of September, which I chose not to accept. In addition, about 15 newsroom employees were laid off on Wednesday, Sept. 17. I was not one of them.

As for books coverage in the newspaper, as far as I can tell at this point, it will continue at the same level—and in fact might even increase slightly, once you factor everything into the equation. However, the nature of that coverage will change somewhat over the next few weeks. I really can’t say anything beyond that for now, except that my duties will be evolving, too.

I’ve been with The Star nearly 22 years now and have served as book review editor since March 2000. I’m delighted my tenure will continue, especially in light of the grim news we’ve heard from so many quarters of the book reviewing world in 2008. Despite difficult economic conditions overall and a very tough financial environment for newspapers these days, The Kansas City Star made the decision today to keep me in this chair, where I can continue to interview authors and provide coverage of the literary world in this city, in the Midwest, and beyond.—John Mark Eberhart