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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.

Recent Nieman Lab coverage:
Nov. 19, 2015 / Ken Doctor
Newsonomics: Can you get readers to pay a dollar a day for digital news? — Is local news worth a dollar a day? That’s the fascinating question The Boston Globe is now posing to its local readers. It’s a query that should resonate among the press around North America and Europe as we...
Oct. 1, 2015 / Justin Ellis
Blocking ads can add up to real money for users on mobile — and real losses for publishers — Two reminders on Thursday that publishers face an daunting battle against ad blocking technology. First, The New York Times released its analysis of homepage loading speeds for the top 50 mobile news sites, including CNN...
Aug. 6, 2015 / Ken Doctor
Newsonomics: 10 numbers on The New York Times’ 1 million digital-subscriber milestone — If, half a decade ago, you’d been able to put money down in Vegas on The New York Times’ chances of reaching 1 million digital subscribers by 2015, what kind of odds could you have gotten? Longer than longsho...
June 25, 2015 / Ken Doctor
Newsonomics: 10 numbers that define the news business today — We’re bombarded by endless numbers every day — some claiming the exalted status of metrics or, even higher, benchmarks. It’s tough for any of us to figure out which — ARPU? TOS? post-click activity? — a...
April 7, 2015 / Justin Ellis
By building partnerships with other newspapers, The Washington Post is opening up revenue opportunities — More than 250 newspapers around the globe are now signed up to The Washington Post partner program, meaning that subscribers in places ranging from Chippewa Falls to Tel Aviv can access the D.C. newspaper for free. So fa...

Recently around the web, from Mediagazer:

Primary author: Mark Coddington. Main text last updated: April 3, 2014.
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The Lens is a nonprofit news site dedicated to covering the New Orleans area. Founded in 2009 by Karen Gadbois and Ariella Cohen, The Lens began publishing online in January 2010 with the mission of covering stories beyond the scope of local news organizations like The Times-Picayune and The Advocate. Its content is often republished…

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