Phillip Morris joins Star Tribune as opinion editor and vice president

New leader to help reimagine editorial and opinion coverage


The Star Tribune Media Company, the largest news organization in the Midwest, has announced the addition of Phillip Morris to its executive staff as opinion editor and vice president. Phillip joins the Star Tribune with more than three decades of media experience including nearly 30 years at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio, where he served as a longtime editorial writer and metro columnist. In his new role, Morris will be responsible for leading a team whose goal is to create, solicit and curate compelling opinion pieces, while also providing well-researched editorials that offer solutions and generate discussion in ways that benefit Minnesota.

“I am delighted to join the talented staff of the Star Tribune at a time of important change and growing momentum,” said Morris. “I have focused my career on helping to advance important conversations and discovering the connective tissue that strengthens and grows communities. I look forward to helping elevate issues and voices that contribute to healthy introspection and action. I strongly believe in the mission of journalism to inform, advance and protect all communities. There is no finer place for me to continue this work than in Minnesota.”

Twice a Pulitzer Prize finalist in the category of commentary, Morris has won a variety of awards and honors. They include the Robert J. McGruder Diversity in Media Distinguished Leadership Award from Kent State University, the Distinguished Writing Award for Commentary from the American Society of News Editors, a Salute to Excellence Winner from the National Association of Black Journalists and multiple National Headliner Awards.

In addition to a long journalism career in Ohio, Morris wrote several magazine pieces as a contributing writer for National Geographic Magazine about race relations in America following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. He also authored cover stories on the COVID-19 pandemic and the death penalty.

“I’m thrilled to bring such a talented and thoughtful leader to the Star Tribune at a pivotal moment in our journey,” said Steve Grove, publisher and CEO of the Star Tribune. “Welcoming a leader from outside the state offers us the unique advantages of bringing fresh eyes to our report, at a time when Minnesota is undergoing so much transformation. Phil’s leadership will broaden our focus and diversify the perspectives we amplify in powerful ways, which we hope will better serves our audience across Minnesota, regardless of your ZIP code or background.”

Morris began his career in journalism at The Dayton Daily News, where he served as a reporter and editorial writer. Most recently he served a leadership role in communications at the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.

“I can’t wait for Minnesotans to get to know Phil,” Grove added. “His colleagues describe him as fair, non-ideological, unconventional, and deeply curious — all qualities that will make him a great opinion editor at the largest news organization in the Midwest.”

Morris begins his new role at the Star Tribune on Monday, July 22, and arrives at a time when the Star Tribune is expanding its work in opinion journalism and evolving its approach, most recently demonstrated by the hiring of the company’s first-ever community engagement director, Kavita Kumar, whose focus is to solicit commentary from a diverse range of voices on the geographic, demographic and political spectrum.

Morris holds a degree in journalism from Ohio Wesleyan University. He completed a Knight-Wallace Fellowship at the University of Michigan in 2012, researching the use of social media in social justice movements.

This hire continues a series of new strategic leadership role developments at the Star Tribune including a  chief product officer, a new chief financial officer and vice president of communications and brand marketing, and a senior vice president of consumer growth. It comes on the heels of the retirement of long time Star Tribune opinion and news editor, Scott Gillespie.

About Star Tribune Media Company:

Building on an extraordinary 157-year legacy that includes seven Pulitzer Prizes and hundreds of other awards, the Star Tribune Media Company 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. For more information, visit


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