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Less Than Ringing Endorsement Of The Status Quo At The Minneapolis Star Tribune Sighted

Posted by: Jon Fine on May 5, 2008

Minneapolis Star Tribune owners Avista Capital Partners knock down this New York Post report that the paper’s bankruptcy pends imminently. Sort of.

Emphasis added to amplify the not-so-subtext:

Star Tribune publisher and chairman Christopher Harte said the Star Tribune has not filed for bankruptcy, nor is it about to.

"The Star Tribune currently has sufficient liquidity and is current on all its debt payment obligations," Harte said in a statement issued Sunday afternoon.

Pressed further, he said the newspaper would not miss a debt payment this year unless things worsened.

Harte said he is in frequent contact with lenders, including Credit Suisse. None of them wants to take over the newspaper, he added.

Boy, if I were a concerned Minneapolitan, I’d be really reassured after reading that.

Last summer, I wrote a column predicting that one major-market newspaper would exit print entirely in favor of a Web-only format by summer of 2009.

Madison’s trailing daily The Capitol Times has already done so. But I gotta confess that I when I opened my big yap I had in mind a leading, big market daily, not a relic of the time when each city had multiple newspapers.

I’m starting to think that at least one big-name major-market newspaper will move away from standard daily publication this year--scale back to, say, publishing a paid newspaper three or four times a week.

The economics appear to have gotten that grim.

Reader Comments


May 5, 2008 6:11 PM

After looking over the latest circulation numbers, I question how much longer most of these papers can continue along anything like the current model.
I don't mean six months or a year from now, but five years from now.
Unless they figure out how to drastically increase their online revenue,many will have to cease publication. I can't see why advertisers would pay much of anything to be in a physical newspaper reaching a tiny portion of the under 60 market (in most cities) and reaching even those in such an old fashioned, lifeless format as a two color print ad

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