Glen Taylor: “Why I’m Proud To Own the Star Tribune”

From a column on by Glen Taylor headlined “Why I’m proud to own the Star Tribune”:

I’m often asked if my decision to buy the Star Tribune in 2014 was a good one. My reply, again and again, is emphatic: “Absolutely!”

Last month I met with the board and management team of the Star Tribune, as I do every quarter, and I came away more energized than ever about the future of Minnesota’s largest and most trusted news organization.

First, the business essentials. We have met our financial obligations, and today the Star Tribune is healthy and stable. That’s a credit not only to the company’s leaders and employees, but also to loyal readers and advertisers who depend on the newspaper and its digital products to provide a window to an ever-changing world.

That window was essential when I was growing up on a farm in Comfrey, Minn., and the newspaper arrived each day by mail. And it is still critical today, whether you’re reading the paper in print or on your smartphone.

Our financial stability may surprise you. There are many cities and towns in Minnesota and nationally where local newspapers are hurting — or have already folded. In some places the closures have been sudden. Elsewhere, local newspapers have cut back distribution or eliminated daily delivery. And some have made dramatic cuts to their newsrooms.

That’s not the story at the Star Tribune.

• The Star Tribune now has the fourth-largest metro daily print newspaper circulation in the country. Only the New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times have more daily print circulation.

• The Star Tribune has the third-largest Sunday single-copy retail newspaper sales in the country — and the largest outside of New York City.

• The Star Tribune has among the highest number of digital subscribers among major-metro newspapers. Today more than 100,000 readers pay for digital access as part of their subscription. Thanks to snowbirds and out-of-town Vikings fans, among others, we have digital subscribers in all 50 states.

• The Star Tribune is now the only seven-day, home-delivered newspaper available throughout the state of Minnesota….

Why do I believe the Star Tribune is among the best-performing local news organizations in the country?

First, the Star Tribune is committed to broad local news and opinion coverage. Today the Star Tribune employs roughly 240 journalists, about the same as when I bought the company. They do an outstanding job on daily coverage of state and local news, politics, sports, entertainment, while the opinion staff continues to lead a constructive discussion on the issues that matter most to our readers….

The Star Tribune newsroom is still doing important investigative and public service journalism that not only wins awards — including a 2021 Pulitzer Prize — but that also keeps citizens informed and leads to changes in public policy….

We’re also working hard to diversify our staff and coverage to better reflect our changing state….The newsroom has appointed its first senior editor in charge of diversity and community, and leaders in all other departments are committed to the Star Tribune’s goal of becoming an industry leader in equity and inclusion….

I believe you know that cities and states are more vibrant, more democratic, and more equitable when its residents are well-informed and when capable journalists are keeping an eye on those in power….

Make no mistake, local news is a tough business. But I’ve been in challenging businesses my whole life, starting on the family farm in Comfrey. I’m optimistic about the Star Tribune’s future, and you can be, too.

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