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Key links:
Primary website:
startribune.com
Primary Twitter:
@startribune

Editor’s Note: Encyclo has not been regularly updated since August 2014, so information posted here is likely to be out of date and may be no longer accurate. It’s best used as a snapshot of the media landscape at that point in time.

The Star Tribune is a daily newspaper in Minnesota’s Twin Cities.

The Star Tribune ranked in 2012 as the nation’s 17th-largest newspaper with a combined print and digital circulation of 300,000, and, according to analysis of  Compete.com data, the 18th-most-popular newspaper website.

The Star Tribune’s holding company is Star Tribune Media Co., which is owned predominantly by the creditors of the paper’s former owner, Avista Capital Partners. The paper had long been owned by the Cowles family, but it was sold in 1998 to McClatchy and then to Avista in 2006. In 2014, local billionaire Glen Taylor signed a letter of intent to buy the paper and become its sole owner.

Though the Star Tribune was profitable, in January 2009 its $480 million debt forced bankruptcy. The newspaper emerged from bankruptcy in September 2009 with $100 million in debt. It reported in 2014 that it had been “solidly profitable” every year since its bankruptcy.

The Star Tribune charged for online Minnesota Vikings content in the early 2000s and began again in 2009, and in 2011 began charging for access to its website using a metered model. In mid-2012, it reported 18,000 paying digital subscribers, in addition to its daily print subscribers; earlier that year, it said that 14,000 digital subscribers had accounted for about $1.4 million in annual revenue. In 2014, the Star Tribune announced a partnership with The Washington Post that gave Star Tribune subscribers free access to the Post’s website and apps.

In 2008, the Star Tribune and other newspapers gave The Associated Press two-year notice in 2008 that they would cancel their contracts with the news cooperative. The newspaper backed off that threat after the AP restructured its rates.

The Star Tribune and its smaller rival, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, are the frequent subjects of merger rumors. The Star Tribune announced it would begin printing the Pioneer Press in 2014.

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Primary author: Mark Coddington. Main text last updated: April 3, 2014.
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The Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity is a nonprofit organization that focuses on investigative reporting at state and local levels. The center, based in Bismarck, N.D., was founded in 2009 by the Sam Adams Alliance, a conservative thinktank, and several of its employees have come from positions in conservative publications and political offices,…

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