Colle McVoy tapped to lead Star Tribune rebrand

157-year-old organization making significant investments to become news outlet for all of Minnesota amid make-or-break moment for media


“We’re thrilled to partner with Colle McVoy as the Star Tribune embarks on branding work that is foundational to the future of our organization,” says Steve Grove, publisher and CEO of the Star Tribune. “Our local market is full of exceptional creative talent. The breadth and quality of Colle McVoy’s craft is only matched by its love for Minnesota. That’s what made them a perfect partner for this initiative.”

“Minnesota is our origin story, and we’re fiercely proud of our heritage. This initiative with the Star Tribune is about legacy — cementing the value of local journalism in our community for generations to come,” says Colle McVoy CEO Christine Fruechte, who has served as board chair and member of the Star Tribune’s board of directors for the last five years.

The firm’s remit is a complete reimagining of the Star Tribune’s tone of voice and how it visually represents itself. Even the name of the media outlet is up for discussion, as the 157-year-old institution seeks increased relevance with a statewide audience.

Colle McVoy’s boutique design firm, 10 Thousand Design, will also steward the redesign.

According to Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, there are roughly 6,000 newspapers left in America, down from 8,891 in 2005. About half of all U.S. counties rely on a single remaining news source — and 6.4% of counties have no local outlets.

This is the first brand refresh since 2014 for the publication, which is targeted to launch in Q4 of this year.

“We see massive opportunities to attract and retain new audiences throughout and beyond this next election cycle as people are more tuned in to what’s happening in media,” adds Star Tribune VP of Communication and Brand Marketing Chris Iles. “This rebrand signals significant investments to grow for our current and future readers in an era when news media is shrinking.”

Colle McVoy is joined by fellow Stagwell network agency Code And Theory, which is handling a complementary digital product redesign.

“To make this happen and get the results we’re looking for we wanted partners who can finish each other’s sentences. We get that in having two agencies under the Stagwell umbrella working in lockstep,” notes Iles.

The refresh is part of a larger transformation happening at the Star Tribune, which is exploring novel content formats, in-person events and the role of AI in operations and reporting.

“Local media has a profound role to play in combatting trends of people feeling disconnected and the dwindling of third spaces,” adds Iles. “We can be the great convener bringing people together to have the crucial conversations to push society forward.”

The Star Tribune is the Upper Midwest’s largest news organization, with audience numbers consistently in the top five in the country among regional and national peers. Its journalistic excellence is reflected in seven Pulitzer Prizes and hundreds of other accolades.

About the Star Tribune:

Building on an extraordinary 157-year legacy that includes seven Pulitzer Prizes and hundreds of other awards, the Star Tribune is the Midwest’s largest news organization and is an unrivaled force for journalistic excellence in Minnesota. The Star Tribune has a vision to create the leading model for local news in America — driving innovation in media to make every Minnesotan’s life better.

Most recently, they announced a commercial content partnership with XLMedia to provide sports betting content on Earlier this year, the Star Tribune announced dramatic enhancements to their digital presence and products in partnership with tech powerhouse Code and Theory.  That followed an announcement on their expansion into Greater Minnesota and significant investment in breaking news resources. Previously, the Star Tribune announced they added new strategic leadership roles including a chief product officer as well as a new chief financial officer and vice president of communications and brand marketing. New CEO and Publisher Steve Grove also recently announced plans for a reorganization aimed at a digital future. 

About Colle McVoy:

Colle McVoy is a full-service agency and certified B Corp known for building enduring relationships between forward-thinking brands and people. Creating the first AI-powered La-Z-Boy recliner and getting people hooked on eating chicken feed is a casual Monday. Our crew of intrepid thinkers may also be behind why you roam retail store aisles and how you satisfy snack attacks.

Named Adweek’s 2023 Midsize Agency of the Year, the shop’s nimble talent model unlocks holistic creative problem solving. Our capabilities span the entire marketing ecosystem: Brand and influencer strategy, design, experiential, social, branded content, media, PR and more. Backed by an award-winning culture, we’ve earned Best Place To Work honors 13 years in a row. Our client roster includes some of the world’s most recognized brands: 3M, CHS, Crystal Farms, Goodyear, Jackson Hole Travel & Tourism, Northern Tool + Equipment, Perdue Farms, Stanley Black & Decker, Target, UnitedHealthcare, US Bank and more. For more information, visit or follow us on LinkedInInstagramFacebook and X.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

Scroll the Latest Job Opportunities From The Media Job Board