UPDATE: ‘Star Tribune’ Names Par Ridder Publisher, Singleton Not Happy

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By: E&P Staff

The Star Tribune of Minneapolis has announced that Par Ridder will replace J. Keith Moyer as publisher and CEO of the paper, effective immediately. Moyer recently resigned after almost six years at the paper.

Ridder, who has been pubisher and president of the nearby St. Paul Pioneer Press for the past three years, was praised as “one of the most dynamic and talented publishers in the country,” by Chris Harte, chairman of The Star Tribune Company in an article in the newspaper.

“[Ridder] knows the Twin Cities market thoroughly and has a positive and enlightened perspective on our business and its potential. We are delighted he will be leading the Star Tribune,” Harte is quoted as saying in the article.

But William Dean Singleton, the chief of the MediaNews group which owns the Pi-Press said, “I’m surprised and disappointed,” as he told staffers at that paper.

The Pioneer Press account today continues: “The insider knowledge about the Pioneer Press that Ridder will take across the river with him would have been a bigger deal 10 years ago, Singleton said. ‘The days of newspapers fighting each other are just about over with,’ he said. Instead, newspapers are putting their energy into slowing the flow of advertising dollars to competitors on the Internet.”

Singleton named Frederick Mott, who was a publisher with Knight Ridder Inc., as interim publisher of the Pioneer Press. Mott’s had been MediaNews’ top executive for its Northern California operations.

In speaking of his appointment, Ridder is quoted as saying the Star Tribune “is among the largest and best newspapers in the country.”

“I love the Twin Cities and its exciting media landscape,” he said. “This is a highly sophisticated market where the community holds all media to the highest standards. There is no better place to be in the information business.”

Ridder has previously worked as publisher of The Tribune of San Luis Obispo, Calif., and in advertising sales at The Washington Post, the Contra Costa Times, and the Akron Beacon Journal. His father is P. Anthony (Tony) Ridder, who was the chairman and CEO of Knight Ridder, which was acquired last year by the McClatchy Company.

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