Articles about "Star Tribune"

New Star Tribune owner: Paper will be less liberal when current reporters retire


In an interview with MinnPost’s Britt Robson, new (Minneapolis) Star Tribune owner Glen Taylor said the paper’s reputation as a liberal outlet will change whether he owns it or not. That said: “Will it change because of the ownership of Glen Taylor? Yeah. To say it won’t wouldn’t be accurate,” Taylor says, continuing:

But it isn’t like Glen Taylor is going to come in there on day one and say, “I’m going to fire people” and do all sorts of things. I am going to say — and I have already told them this — that first of all it has got to be fair and it has got to be accurate.

Taylor says he detects “a little bit more of a balance” among new reporters. “But I think traditionally, some of the reporters that have been hired and they have been there for a long time, I don’t know how you are ever going to change those people and what they write, but through time itself, some of those people will retire.”

He says he envisions a bifurcated system in the future: “My thought is that you are more likely to find two different reporters, one not seeing it from one side and the other not seeing it from the other side, and both of them reporting.” Read more


Timberwolves owner makes formal offer on Star Tribune

The Star Tribune

Minnesota businessman Glen Taylor “made a cash offer” to buy The (Minneapolis) Star Tribune, Jennifer Bjorhus reports. “Taylor is currently engaged in a due diligence process, which when complete, would lead to the acquisition,” the Star Tribune says in a press release, saying it expected such a sale may go through later this spring.

Among other holdings, Taylor owns the Minnesota Timberwolves. “It isn’t that I’m interested in going around and buying papers in other parts of the country,” he told Bjorhus. “I’m interested in this one because it’s a Minnesota paper.”

Here’s the release: Read more


Pioneer Press paywall coming Nov. 1

Minneapolis City Pages

Star Tribune reporter Rachel E. Stassen-Berger tweeted a picture of a letter she received explaining the changes: “On November 1, the Pioneer Press, like many other newspapers, will begin charging for our exclusive content on, mobile, tablet, and our popular e-edition that delivers a digital replica of the printed paper.”


The St. Paul, Minn., paper competes with the Minneapolis Star Tribune, which launched its paywall Nov. 1, 2011. “Will City Pages be next?” Aaron Rupar writes. Read more


4 departures announced this week at Minneapolis Star Tribune

A day after Minneapolis Star Tribune Editor Nancy Barnes announced she’s leaving to become editor of the Houston Chronicle, three staffers also announced their departures.

Liala Helal, who works out of the paper’s Burnsville bureau, is leaving at the end of the month to become an online local news reporter for he Minnesota Public Radio.

Rose French and Brad Schrade, husband and wife, are leaving for jobs at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Schrade — along with Jeremy Olson and Glenn Howatt — won a 2013 Pulitzer for their series of reports on the increase in infant deaths at daycare homes in Minnesota.

Managing Editor Rene Sanchez shared this memo with staffers Thursday: Read more

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Star Tribune publishes serialized novel in paper, turns it into an e-book

Lynn Liedman wakes up every morning looking for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. She’s been a loyal subscriber for years, but it wasn’t until this summer that she really got hooked.

She’s not reading for news. Instead, Liedman eagerly flips to the Variety section to read “Giving up the Ghost,” a novel split into bite-sized segments.

“I just like the idea of having a little bit every day to look forward to reading,” Liedman said by phone. “The next day, the paper comes and it’s like, ‘Oh what’s going to happen today?’ ”

Mary Logue

“Giving up the Ghost,” written by Mary Logue, joins a collection of e-books the Star Tribune published last year, including “In the Footsteps of Little Crow” by Curt Brown and “The Cookie Book,” a collection of cookie recipes.

Kate Parry, assistant managing editor for special projects and features, said in a phone interview that this is the first time the newspaper has published fiction and “serialized it in the printed paper and on the website.”

Parry and Laurie Hertzel, senior editor for books, talked about how the e-book came together and shared strategies and tips for other publications trying similar projects.

Determining the right story — and writer — for an e-book

Because they wanted to publish a novel, Hertzel and Parry had to look for writers outside of the paper. The search for manuscripts took six weeks, beginning in February. Hertzel asked for recommendations from mystery bookstores in the Twin Cities, a small press specializing in mysteries, and the Loft Literary Center.

“I didn’t want to be inundated with manuscripts,” Hertzel said, noting that the Star Tribune team was juggling other full-time work for the paper while working on the e-book. She warned that publications looking for submissions shouldn’t open the floodgates — “it really will crush you.”

Hertzel whittled submissions down to six finished manuscripts from local authors. The editors wanted a “whodunit” so the story would have natural breaks and cliffhangers, encouraging readers to pick up the paper the next day.

They ultimately chose a ghost story by Logue, a local writer. The structure of the book, written in short chapters that could be divided into even smaller segments, made it “easier to break up for serializing,” Parry said.

Liedman said the story “struck” her because the protagonist’s grief over her husband’s death reminded Liedman of her own emotions after her daughter’s sudden death in 2004. Furthermore, Liedman enjoyed the “the Minnesota connection in ‘Giving up the Ghost’ ” with “references to Minnesota places.”

The Star Tribune negotiated a contract with Logue in April and the first episode of “Giving Up the Ghost” ran June 9. Parry said the Star Tribune worked with a law firm to draw up a traditional book contract “that’s very different [from] a freelancer’s contract. There are all kinds of rights issues connected to book publishing.” The Star Tribune offered Logue an advance and a percentage of royalties based on e-book sales.

Logue sees the project as a way for the publishing and journalism industry to experiment together and cross-promote.

“The other thing I get is my name in the paper for 50 days, which is huge publicity for me,” said Logue, who has seen an uptick in sales of her other mysteries on

Figuring when/where to publish the story & who to involve

Serialized fiction is a centuries-old tradition; writers such as Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote some of their most famous novels as series first published in newspapers.

Parry said the editors deliberately avoided publishing on the front page of the Star Tribune because they “didn’t want to start it on page one and then jump back to the feature section,” Parry said. “We wanted to give people a habit.” On the first day, the story took up the entire cover of the Variety section, which seemed the best fit based on the novel’s themes. Since then, it has appeared either as “a narrow column down the side or a strip across the bottom of the page.”

Hertzel saw summer as the ideal time to experiment because there’s less news. People are on vacation — including journalists, meaning “that’s one less story reporters have to produce.”

The Star Tribune promoted the e-book with house ads, a daily countdown on the Variety cover, social media and e-book ads alongside every installment in print and online. The publishing team included Web designers, copy editors, primary editors, a designer producing the e-book, an artist to paint the cover and a designer to convert the painting to a digital image.

“Pretty soon, I had eight people sitting at the production meetings,” Parry said. Hertzel recommended smaller publications with limited resources cut the Web version or skip the e-book to make the project more manageable.

The cover for “Giving up the ghost.” (Painting: Eddie Thomas/Star Tribune, Cover design: Mike Rice/Star Tribune)

Interacting with readers

Hertzel held a live chat with Logue the Monday after the second installment appeared in the paper. According to Parry, approximately 600 people participated in the chat. The Star Tribune simultaneously conducted a poll asking people whether they believed in ghosts. (56 percent said yes.)

The e-book, Parry said, has received much more attention than the free version on the Star Tribune’s website (though readers would eventually hit the pay wall). Longform journalism “doesn’t read very well on a traditional website. You end up scrolling a long, long way,” she said. As for the decision to offer the e-book right away, Parry said that “there’s just a certain group of people who are impatient waiting around.”

Parry and Hertzel said they receive regular requests from readers like Liedman asking for another series next year but haven’t decided if they will do a project like this again.

“We’re just checking it like mad everyday to make sure we don’t have the wrong installment in the paper,” Parry said. “That’s our biggest terror right now.”

Related: What news organizations are learning from their ebook efforts Read more


Star Tribune Guild approves contract that includes raises

City Pages | Star Tribune | Star Tribune Newspaper Guild

Star Tribune Guild members approved a contract Wednesday that guarantees them 2 percent raises this year and in 2015. The deal, Olivia LaVecchia reports, was “one of the better Guild contracts negotiated nationally in the past year,” Guild official Janet Moore wrote in an email. Read more


Publishers say paywalls, price hikes are working for newspapers

Four top publishers Tuesday reaffirmed their commitment to print and discussed revenue ideas for bolstering their products.

The discussion was part of an executive roundtable at the Key Executives Mega Conference in New Orleans.

The publishers of the Star Tribune Media Co., USA Today, The Omaha World-Herald and The Dallas Morning News talked about the revenue opportunities for their content.

For Jim Moroney at The Dallas Morning News, his company is converting the story archives into revenue through content marketing. Companies in the Dallas area are in need of content to populate company newsletters, websites and blogs, and the paper is making its archives available for customers of its digital agency. Clients’ monthly bills average $4,000 a month for services that include access to the archives. Read more


Research: If it bleeds, it leads — online, but not as much in print

Scott R. Maier and Staci Tucker of the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication studied how stories played in the print and online editions of The (Minneapolis) Star Tribune and The Seattle Times, as well as the online-only Seattle Post-Intelligencer. What they call “story consonance” was “sporadic and generally weak”:

The digital metro newspapers differed sharply in story selection even from their parent newspapers. On average, only one in five of the top news stories posted on The Seattle Times websites was identical or similar to the stories found on the same day’s front page of its print edition. In Minneapolis, the difference was even more pronounced: less than 8 percent of the top stories posted on were in common with the Star-Tribune‘s print edition.

The researchers mimicked the Project Excellence in Journalism’s methodology in its News Coverage Index. Their study looked at 725 stories in May 2010. Read more

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Star Tribune’s paywall is bringing in more money than it’s costing in ad revenue

The Star Tribune tells David Brauer how its paywall is doing a month after launch. Ad revenue will suffer from lower traffic, which is down 10 to 15 percent, depending on the metric. But the newspaper has 5,900 new digital subscribers, 1,150 of whom are now getting the Sunday newspaper, too. And more people are paying a bit extra to bundle digital access with their print subscriptions. “So in four weeks, the Strib has potentially reaped about $800,000 in new digital circulation revenue,” Brauer writes. || Related: Chicago Sun-Times to charge visitors, including subscribers, for online access starting Thursday (Chicago Sun-Times) || Earlier: MinnPost publisher: We won’t try to capitalize on Star Tribune’s paywall ( Read more


Star Tribune staffers get $1,163 profit-sharing checks
The Minneapolis paper says earnings in 2010 beat projections, and that cash flow allowed it to pay down $15 million of its $100 million post-bankruptcy debt in a single year. Read more