Star Tribune to cut 100 jobs, up to 30 newsroom

I don’t have the memos yet, but the Star Tribune’s new management is lowering the boom, telling employees this morning that 100 jobs will be cut company-wide. Strib Newspaper Guild co-chair Graydon Royce confirms that number, and says “up to 30” will exit the newsroom over the next two to three months.

Based on what he took away from the communications, Royce says, “This is causing management to look at somehow restructuring how work is done.”

To me, that’s code that the cuts will focus on non-bylined newsroom troops such as copy editors, designers, etc. The Strib has held reporters relatively harmless in recent cutting, and I’m betting that will continue.

Royce stresses the Guild wants to be “strongly involved” in how restructuring is done. Workers who leave would get buyouts as per their recently renegotiated contract, though not as generous as in recent years.

The Strib currently has about 290 270 newsroom staff, so this would take it to 260 240-250. More as I get the memos and talk to management.

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Comments (10)

  1. Anonymous Submitted by Anonymous on 11/09/2009 - 11:48 am.

    How about Reusse or Hartman? I read the paper for Reusse. It’s too bad they’ve already scaled back his frequency. I don’t understand why they continue to employ Sid Hartman. At his scale, how many heads-of-household is he personally responsible for replacing?

  2. Submitted by Sheila Ehrich on 11/09/2009 - 11:56 am.

    You mean they actually still have copy editors at the Strib? With all the factual, grammatical and spelling errors I see everyday, I thought they were ALL long gone.

  3. Submitted by Philip Kelley on 11/09/2009 - 12:47 pm.

    Hopefully Katherine Kersten will get the boot. Her weekend op ed piece about how legalizing gay marriage will lead to the end of modern civilization was the last straw for me. Although with the 500 comments her piece has drawn, I’m guessing they’ll want her to fan the flames more to drive up readership.

  4. Submitted by John Reinan on 11/09/2009 - 01:20 pm.

    Philip, I think you answered your own question there at the end.

  5. Submitted by dan buechler on 11/09/2009 - 01:58 pm.

    Some of these jobs will not be eliminated they just will be outsourced and not done by the FTE.

  6. Anonymous Submitted by Anonymous on 11/09/2009 - 02:47 pm.

    John: Comments do not equal page views. On most large websites, the most viewed articles are rarely the same as the most commented (or most emailed) articles. On sites that do publish both, that’s pretty apparent. Picking random examples: on the Washington Post ( and Billings Gazette ( today, the most commented article didn’t make the list of the most popular articles. I’ve found that to be generally true on the larger sites (500K page views a day or so) I’ve worked on.

  7. Submitted by Dave Kopesky on 11/09/2009 - 03:10 pm.

    Spencer you apparently don’t look at the most read and most emailed columns on the Strib’s website. Sad to say Sid’s home team shilling is near the top of the list whenever his column appears. I like to think it is for comic relief but a lot of people still follow him as irrelevant as he has become. Why do you think he’s still on WCCO radio? For some reason people still want to listen to his trite boosterism.

  8. Submitted by Jeff Cagle on 11/09/2009 - 06:18 pm.

    I’m not a fan of Sid Hartman’s. His column that appeared in this morning’s paper was lazy journalism, pure and simple. But I have a friend of mine who works in the Strib’s newsroom whom shall remain anonymous. That person told me if Sid were to retire, readership of the paper would drop – which is a shame given that Sid is not a journalist. And to correct Phillip, Katherine Kersten is not a paid columnist with the Strib anymore. She was part of the last round of buyouts at the paper. I also hope the Strib is able to keep their investigative team – including Paul McEnroe and Tony Kennedy. Their bylines are rare, but their work is too valuable to give up.

  9. Submitted by Bruce Adomeit on 11/09/2009 - 11:43 pm.

    Sid isn’t a journalist? Nonsense. He’s a journalist, all right — straight out of the 1950s. He’s never emerged from that simpler era, when heroes were venerated and no one disclosed their character flaws. Heaven knows Sid’s not a writer — he’s never made it a secret that he depends on copy editors to turn his columns into bonefied … er, bona fide … English. Folks on the desk have made careers correcting that and other misspellings, which are legion. So what? Sid’s a reporter first and foremost, one who constantly works his multitude of sources. He lives and breathes his job from morning until late at night. The Strib — and ‘CCO and Minnesota — will be the poorer when Father Time finally tackles him.

  10. Submitted by Jeff Cagle on 11/11/2009 - 09:21 am.

    To Bruce: Please don’t call Sid a journalist. A real journalist cares about their readers and does not write stories for the betterment of themselves. That would be unethical. I won’t dispute the notion of Sid being a valuable resource for contacts. But he never does anything worthwhile with any scoop he passes them on to editors and sportswriters in the newsroom. One scoop he passed on – something that would have scooped ESPN and every other sports publication – was Bobby Knight’s retirement announcement. Instead of taking advantage of this opportunity, he sat on it and then wrote a column about how he got the Knight scoop and why he sat on it. Also, a journalist’s job is not to concern his or herself with the newspapers advertising section – which is a huge misconception the public has today. Advertising is the job of a publisher or someone in advertising sales.

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