Publisher Chris Harte’s good-bye letter to Star Tribune employees

It’s really a letter to employees about the just-approved bankruptcy reorganization, but it certainly reads like a valedictory.

By the way, I’m pretty sure there are many over at 425 Portland who do not feel they or their paper are “stronger from the experience,” though Harte did make good on his claim the bankruptcy stay would be quick. I guess there’s always a tin-ear factor in executive communications such as these.

By Chris Harte, Publisher

I am elated to report that we have received court approval to emerge from bankruptcy. We intend to officially emerge on or about September 28, which is the beginning of the next accounting period.

On that day, we are planning to come together to celebrate our new beginning as a new company, with new ownership and a new lease on our future. Because of all the important work that has happened in this process, we are a financially stronger and more resilient company with a much brighter outlook. We are now far better positioned to handle the tough market conditions we still must overcome.

I think we all can agree that these past few months have been some of the most difficult in our careers and in the entire history of the Star Tribune.  I think we can also agree we are stronger from the experience.

While bankruptcy will soon be over, many of our challenges will remain. The economy is still weak, as is advertising revenue. And the entire media landscape remains in turmoil.

In many ways, the next few months and years will test our mettle far more than bankruptcy did. But, as a result of the bankruptcy process, we now have manageable debt and a lower cost structure.  Still, we must find new sources of revenue and new ways of doing business that will carry us well into the future.

I know this can happen. As we have pushed through bankruptcy — in a very short time as these things go — I have seen your talent, strength and resolve. 

You are a committed group of employees who clearly loves the Star Tribune and the higher purpose that motivates all the work you do. You have made great sacrifices to help this great company survive and prosper. 

Now that bankruptcy is almost over, so is my tenure at the Star Tribune. I am deeply grateful for all that every one of you did to get us back on track. 

Many times during this process I asked you to stay focused on serving our customers. And you did. Your commitment and sacrifice got us through this most challenging chapter in our history.

Thank you for hanging in and believing. My advice, on my way out the door, is to keep doing just that. There is plenty to believe in, and the force of that belief, along with your hard work, will take you to the next level of success.

Now we can all look back, breath a deep sigh of relief, and start looking forward with optimism and resolve. The Star Tribune is a great institution, and you are the great people who make it what it is. 

I am proud to have been your publisher and served with you in this most trying of times. Thank you for all your contributions every day and for your deep commitment to the Star Tribune. Carry on.

Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by dan buechler on 09/18/2009 - 08:19 am.

    He hasn’t left yet. keep us posted.

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