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Update: Star Tribune will drop some Associated Press content, reopen east metro bureau

So Star Tribune management has sent me the memo (below) on their Associated Press un-cancellation, but there’s more to it than I originally learned. 

Editor Nancy Barnes writes that the Strib will be buying “a more limited [AP] service” than now, as an “experiment.” I’ll add specifics here when I get them.

[Update: Spokesman Ben Taylor explains, “‘AP limited’ is just the bare bones news: A select number of breaking national, international, and business stories per day. We are opting to pay extra for sports so we have the complete sports package, and business so we have all the agate. Nancy cautions that we are not sure this will work for us and may yet change. We plan to experiment for about a month and see what we think. We can always upgrade.”]

As noted in the previous post, the memo also states a layoff/reorganization plan won’t be implemented until January, along with news that the Strib will re-open an “east metro bureau.” The news organization closed a St. Paul office while in bankruptcy, and has hung out with the competition at City Hall. I know many journalists who’ll be relieved by this news!

Here’s the memo:

Newsroom Reorganization: I know you all are anxious for details about the reorganization plan. [Managing editors] Rene [Sanchez], Duchesne [Drew], and a group of newsroom craft leaders have been working for several weeks now on a plan to help me determine what that should look like.

It is clear that the solutions are complex and will differ from department to department. It’s also clear that going forward, many of us will have to be more flexible in how and when we work. Because this is complicated, we expect that we will not have a plan in place until the end of the year.

At this point, I expect to outline a buyout plan for the newsroom, as well as a reorganization plan, around the first week of January. Thank you for your patience as we work through this.

AP:  As many of you know, we gave  AP a cancellation notice more than a year ago. We will be rescinding that notice, but when we sign with AP, it will be for a more limited service. It is our intent to experiment with that for a while, and see if it is sufficient when combined with our other premium wire services, such as the New York Times, WSJ and the Washington Post. We have flexibility to change if we need to. We’ll be meeting with wire editors in the next few weeks to discuss how we plan to handle that transition.

East metro bureau: Duchesne, working with Greg Anderson, is actively on the hunt for a new East metro bureau and is looking at a couple alternatives. We will keep you posted on how that progresses; we hope to have it open by March at the latest.

Facebook directory: We’ll launch our first staff directory of Facebook fan pages and Twitter accounts on StarTribune.com this week. It’s quite an impressive list of staff members who have added social media to their beat reporting. If you have a Star Tribune twitter account or Facebook fan page that’s been left off the list, please let us know.

Plans for 2010: We are working on goals for the newsroom for 2010, and we would love to hear any ideas you have for new initiatives, ambitious journalism, or other goals we should set. Please feel free to share your ideas with any member of the management team. We’ll have newsroom wide meetings at the end of January to discuss those goals, and how you can help us meet them.

Many thanks,
Nancy

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