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Star Tribune’s $530,000 out-of-town CFO returns home

I know, I know, I’m trying to punch out, but I can’t help noting this …

Star Tribune interim CFO David Montgomery has been nominated to become the city of Duluth’s first CFO, the Duluth News-Tribune reports — which is convenient because Montgomery has lived in Duluth during his Strib tenure.

Strib owner Avista Capital Partners seems to have a thing about virtual management; the paper’s Digital Media President, Dan Shorter, is a Florida resident, and publisher Chris Harte is an Austin, Texas guy, though he spends considerable time up here. Local, local, local indeed.

The other noteworthy thing about Montgomery is he pulled a jaw-dropping $530,000 out of the staggering enterprise last year, a number that made many a Stribber spit the bit. A couple of business types told me a $250 million enterprise had no business paying that kind of compensation (knowledgeable folks, please add your comments), and Avista had to really love Montgomery to fork over that much.

Of course, it makes sense an interim executive would leap from the bankrupt ship for a job closer to home, even if it pays a fifth of what he once made. When the creditors take over, they’ll want their own CFO, not the debtor’s.

Still, Montgomery will leave Avista’s ultra-private embrace for the full glare of public service; on the Duluth News-Tribune’s site, wags are already ripping Mayor Don Ness for nominating someone with Montgomery’s recent track record. Duluth’s finances are about as shaky as the Strib’s, but Chapter 11 isn’t really an option.

Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by dan buechler on 04/03/2009 - 09:19 am.

    There is probably somebody already in the pipeline or at least someone from outside will come on board.

  2. Submitted by Bob Leland on 04/03/2009 - 09:23 am.


    The problem with your blogging is that you make wild assumptions based on little facts here and there. You have no idea what will happen with that newspaper.

    This is the biggest problem I have with bloggers. They aren’t reporters, just gossip hounds.

    Reporters report: ‘Dave Montgomery resigned to take a position with the city of Duluth’.

    Bloggers take that nugget and make wild speculations.

    Please act more responsibly.

  3. Submitted by Grace Kelly on 04/03/2009 - 01:13 pm.

    Wow, jaw dropping news!

  4. Submitted by Gary Lee on 04/03/2009 - 09:47 pm.

    I don’t quite understand Bob’s objection. In the five paragraphs, you spend four on stating things which are matters of record, and one speculating. Yes, you’ve put a bit of suggestive language around the facts, but it is till true that Montgomery and at least two other high level Strib execs maintain their residence out of town, Montgomery did apparently get paid $xxx, and so forth. What’s the problem here?

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