Here’s an interesting bit of linkage: Prospective new Star Tribune board member William Farley, touted in this morning’s paper as a local guy with local experience (US Bankcorp predecessor First Bank Systems, Abbott Northwestern, Blue Cross), also serves on the board of San Antonio-based direct-marketing firm Harte-Hanks.
Also on the Harte-Hanks board? None other than outgoing Star Tribune publisher Chris Harte; his grandfather founded the company.
According to Forbes, Farley joined the Harte-Hanks board in 2003, ten years after Harte, and four years before Harte and Avista Capital Partners purchased the Strib. It would be interesting to know if the local guy and the eventual local publisher talked about that deal before it happened, but you can bet they’ve talked since; they are reportedly good friends
Harte will depart the Strib next month, having seen his 4 percent ownership investment in the Strib wiped out. From ownership’s perspective, Harte has managed his paper smoothly through bankruptcy, but he leaves quite the wreckage behind. Some employees at 425 Portland were undoubtedly relishing a clean slate, but Farley’s presence indicates there may be some lingering chalk dust.