Kansas City Star Tells Two Reporters To Decide Which One Gets Laid Off

The Kansas City Star told reporters Dawn Bormann and Karen Dillon that one of them would be laid off — and they had to decide who it would be.

A KCConfidential.com source said, “Dillon has seniority, so she has the option of taking it or not taking it. And if she does, Dawn gets laid off. Dawn’s a great person but I think Karen will vote in favor of herself because she’s got teenage kids at home.”

A similar Hunger Games-esque proposition is thought to have gone down two years ago between two of the paper’s copy editors.

“What’s really awful about that choice is it pits two colleagues against each other with the expectation that they will determine who is the better fit,” a senior area marketing executive said. “And it takes the responsibility away from the employers which is cruel and unprofessional.”

The executive also said that the paper should have explained that there was only one position open and that both reporter would have to apply.


“Or if they knew one person had the seniority – Karen – they should have approached her in private and let her make the decision in private instead of having to make a decision knowing that the other person knows she’s making the decision,” the executive said. “It’s unprofessional, cruel and unnecessary.”

Dillon, a longtime investigative reporter at the Star, was credited by Rolling Stone for breaking Pee Wee Herman’s arrest at a porn theater in 1991.

Rolling Stone said, “An able young reporter named Karen Dillon, working the three-to-midnight shift at the SarasotaHerald-Tribune, recognized Paul Reubens’s name on the police blotter and broke the story.”

According to KCConfidential, Dawn Bormann is the reporter who has been laid off.