5.07.2007

Breaking News: Star Tribune
will cut nearly 150 jobs

More rough news for the newspaper industry came on Monday, this time in Minneapolis. Again.

The Star Tribune announced Monday through a story on its Web site that it would reduce the workforce by about 145 employees. The paper said most of the RIFs (approximately two-thirds) would come through voluntary buyouts. The Star-Tribune employs roughly 2,100 people, according to the story at startribune.com.

The announcement came from publisher and CEO Par Ridder at a 3 p.m. meeting with the paper's employees, the story said.

Ridder made news recently when he was sued by his old paper, the Pioneer Press, and its owner, Media News, for allegedly stealing trade secrets on his way to the Star Tribune.

Jim Romenesko's media news column at Poynter.org has the full text of Ridder's memo to employees.

Read the full story on the downsizing at the Strib's site; but here are some highlights:

"Revenue has been declining since 2004 and we need to respond to that reality," Ridder said in a prepared statement. "The newspaper business model has changed and this restructuring will allow us to align more resources with what readers and advertisers are demanding from us. Through this process we will be increasing resources focused on local content and advertising products, in both print and online."
"This is difficult, but we join many newsrooms in having to restructure for changing times," editor Nancy Barnes said in a statement. She also said she will restructure the newsroom to accommodate operating with about 50 less journalists from the current news staff of about 375. "We will continue to deliver a deep, rich state and local news report every day, whether readers want to get that online or in print. In fact, in the restructuring, we'll be shifting more reporters to local news, in-depth news, and online information gathering than we had before these staff reductions. And we will still have by far the largest news gathering operation in the Upper Midwest region."
Suffice it to say, The Blog wishes the folks in Minneapolis best wishes during this new set of trying times at the paper.

And more details will follow as The Blog gets them.

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