Friday, January 16, 2009

Minneapolis Star Tribune declares bankruptcy reported early this morning - - -

The Star Tribune, saddled with high debt and a sharp decline in print advertising, filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition Thursday night.

Minnesota's largest newspaper will try to use bankruptcy to restructure its debt and lower its labor costs.

Chris Harte, the paper's publisher, said the filing would have no impact on home delivery, advertising, newsgathering or any other aspects of the paper's operations.

"We intend to use the Chapter 11 process to make this great Twin Cities institution stronger, leaner and more efficient so that it is well positioned to benefit when economic conditions begin to improve," Harte said in a statement. …

The Star Tribune, with Sunday circulation of 552,000, is the 10th-largest Sunday newspaper in the U.S. Its daily circulation of 334,000 makes it the 15th-largest daily based on circulation. The paper's website,, averaged 76 million page views per month during the past six months, placing it among the top 10 newspaper websites in the nation. …

The entire Strib story’s here.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air comments:

[Management has] have lost the faith of advertisers, and it’s not hard to see why. They’ve managed to rid themselves of most of their best assets, with the exception of James Lileks, while keeping the worst of their lineup: Nick Coleman, Lori Sturdevant, and the entire editorial board.

The reporting work they do is fine, but the editorial direction is somewhat to the left of Lenin most days, and it’s become a joke.

Who wants to advertise in such a newspaper? Apparently, a lot fewer people than ever before.
On the comment thread a Hot Air reader says what millions of Americans think - - -

I can’t say that I’m sad to see any of these papers go, but the situation as a whole is kind of sad. I’d love to pay for a daily paper that I could trust to remain objective.

It’s a convenient format that allows the reader to keep track of what’s happening locally (I rarely get to watch the local news).

But why pay for opinion journalism when I can get it online for free?

Morrissey's entire post and its thread are here.


My comments:

Re: the commenter’s question beginning “But why pay …..?”

Of course the commenter’s right.

Code Pink, People for the American Way, NOW, and other liberal/leftist organizations all have Web sites which regularly distribute “the news” in the form of press releases, position statements and “research findings.”

There’s no direct charge for any of it, although Lord knows we all pay for the social and economic damage “the news” from such groups does when it gets hyped in news columns, editorial pages, TV newscasts and on cable programs.

Mike Williams, who gave me the heads up on the Strib’s bankruptcy, asks - - -

Can The Raleigh N&O's [parent McClatchy Company] be far behind?

Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...


"Can The Raleigh N&O's [parent McClatchy Company] be far behind?"

Probably not. I noticed the markets are bailing out of MNI as fast as they can.

Their bias has jeopardized their very existence.


Anonymous said...

"Editorial direction somewhat to the left of Lenin" -- Gotta love that one! John: Anybody know what David Graham is up to these days? Steve in New Mexico