St. Paul ‘Pioneer Press’ Workers Rally for Paper’s Future

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Standing in the back of a pickup truck on Thursday, St. Paul Pioneer Press reporter Chuck Laszewski rallied about 200 of the newspaper’s workers, saying he won’t stand for a new owner who plans to make a profit by cutting jobs.

“We are here today to send the message that we will not tolerate a second-rate owner that tries to turn the Pioneer Press into a second-rate newspaper,” Laszewski told workers crammed along the sidewalk in front of the Pioneer Press’s downtown office.

The Pioneer Press is one of the “orphan” newspapers that the McClatchy Co. is selling immediately after buying Knight Ridder Inc. Also included are the Duluth News Tribune, Daily Telegram in Superior, Pine Journal in Cloquet, Lake County News-Chronicle in Two Harbors and the Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald.

Potential suitors have included MediaNews Group Inc., which has a reputation for cost-cutting at its papers. An investment firm called Yucaipa Cos., at the urging of the Newspaper Guild-CWA, has bid for all the orphan papers.

Speakers at the rally included reporters, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Attorney General Mike Hatch. Coleman and Hatch did not take a position on who the paper’s buyer should be. But Hatch has asked for the Justice Department to review the matter for antitrust considerations.

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