Former 'Star Tribune' Publisher Launches Major Site for Twin Cities
Posted: 8/27/2007  |  By: E&P Staff
Former Minneapolis Star Tribune Editor and Publisher Joel Kramer announced today the plans to launch a daily news Web site that serves the Twin Cities later this year. MinnPost.com will be a not-for-profit venture.

The Web site will offer news stories as well as "posts," which will allow professional journalists to converse with readers. The posts will be similar to blog entries but they will be built around original reporting. MinnPost will publish Monday through Friday.

MinnPost will also publish a quick-read version that will be printable on home and office computers. It will be made available at high traffic locations during lunch as well.

In addition, the new Web site will gather material in daily roundups that will address metro, state, national, and international issues, and commentary from community leaders and readers.

The opinion pieces will all be signed and, according to the company, nonpartisan.

"MinnPost.com is all about substantive news for Minnesotans who are intensely interested in the world around them and want more insight and analysis than they're getting from their media choices today," Kramer said in a statement. "It will combine the best of traditional journalism with new forms of newsgathering and storytelling made possible by the Internet."

Roger Buoen, former deputy managing editor of the Star Tribune, is MinnPost's managing editor. Corey Anderson, the former online managing editor of City Pages, was named web editor. Two former editors at the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Don Effenberger and Casey Selix, are news editors. Beth Thibodeau, an editor at the Star Tribune, is now editor of MinnPost in Print. Several other former Star Tribune and Pioneer Press reporters and editors have signed on to contribute to the Web site.

Kramer raised $1 million to start the company (including some of his own money along with Laurie Kramer), mostly from local families in the Minneapolis area: Sage and John Cowles, Vicki and David Cox, and Terry Saario and Lee Lynch. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation also donated $250,000. Lee Lynch has been elected first chair of the board.

Kramer served as publisher of the Star Tribune when the Cowles family sold the paper to McClatchy for $1.4 billion in 1998. Kramer?s holding were reportedly worth $8 million.

MinnPost will rely on sponsorship and advertising and member donations.

"This is a tough time for newspapers," Kramer said in a statement. "Declining advertising revenue has led to substantial cuts in staff and news space, and serious, ambitious news coverage has suffered. But this creates a real opportunity, too, because so many outstanding journalists have left Twin Cities newspapers, and they and a variety of talented free-lancers are eager to bring their talents and experience to MinnPost."