Signaling an expanded strategic commitment to its rapidly growing online video presence, Star Tribune Media Co. has named Vineeta Sawkar, the Emmy-Award-winning journalist most recently at KSTP-TV, the on-camera host of StarTribune.com’s video news operation.

Sawkar, a veteran journalist and on-air presence in the Twin Cities for more than 17 years, will debut on StarTribune.com in early July. Her arrival is the latest move in Star Tribune’s continuous efforts to meet the expectations of audiences and advertisers who value the on-demand, on-the-go nature of online video. Minnesota’s most-visited local website already draws hundreds of thousands of visitors who watch tens of thousands of hours of compelling video reporting each month.

Drawing on her deep understanding of the nature and power of video storytelling, Sawkar will work with Star Tribune reporters and editors across the newsroom and help StarTribune.com continue to refine and expand its video-centric newsgathering and delivery resources. She will produce and appear in daily features and breaking-news reports, and conduct in-depth interviews with journalists and newsmakers.

“I am honored to join some of our state’s finest journalists and to help expand Star Tribune’s video news presence,” said Sawkar.  “Without a doubt, some stories are better-suited to visual media, and a growing portion of the Star Tribune audience enjoys that option. We have a unique and exciting opportunity to lead the way in combining the on-demand power of the Web with the journalism excellence Minnesotans have relied on for decades. In addition, I’m also very excited to reconnect with viewers across the state.”

“As we make continued investments in our online video-news capabilities, we are delighted to welcome a savvy journalist with impeccable credentials and experience,” said Cory Powell, managing editor for new products and innovation. “We look forward to the unique contributions Vineeta will be making to bring important stories to Star Tribune audiences.”