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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.
NewsTilt was a short-lived content network built around individual journalists. The site was launched in April 2010 by Nathan Chong and Paul Biggar as part of NewsLabs, a project of the noted startup incubator Y Combinator. Both NewsLabs and NewsTilt were shut down in June 2010. The site intended to create a network to serve…