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Star Tribune hires new business-coverage boss

After ten months without a permanent business-section managing editor, the Star Tribune has hired Todd Stone, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s business and enterprise editor.

Word from the Strib rank-and-file is that the St. Louis staff is sorry to see Stone go, so that’s a good sign.

The Strib’s hiring memo (below), notes that the Post-Dispatch won a Loeb Award from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management for a series on the auto warranty sales business. I don’t know much about that particular piece of hardware, but the Strib hasn’t won one this decade. That said, the locals did take home two well-deserved Society of American Business Writers awards this year.

Yeah, awards have their politics and foibles, and don’t always correlate to solid daily coverage. However, Stone inherits a very experienced, capable staff. Day in and day out, there’s always a tension between writing for business pros and regular readers, and doing unique stuff instead of chasing the news release cascade. Now it’s Stone’s job to maximize the interesting stuff.

By the way, the Strib seems to view Colorado as a journalism crucible these days. Until 2007, Stone worked for the Denver Post; the Strib’s new multi-media AME, Janet Reeves, made her name at Denver’s Rocky Mountain News, and Jim Spencer, the paper’s new-ish enterprise reporter, was also a long-time Postie.

Technically, Stone’s title will be AME/Business; Eric Wieffering, who last held the title, left the paper for the communications world last fall.

Here’s the memo from editor Nancy Barnes and managing editor Rene Sanchez:

Good news:

We are pleased to announce that Todd Stone, currently the business and enterprise editor at the St. Louis Post Dispatch, will be our new AME/Business, with responsibility for business news across all platforms.

Todd is an accomplished, ambitious editor with a great eye for big stories and a track record of seizing on the news. He has been in St. Louis since 2007, where he oversees the Post Dispatch’s business news coverage in print and online. As part of that role, he is also responsible for cultivating and editing enterprise stories and serving as the writing and editing coach for the newspaper’s metro/business department. This year, his staff won a prestigious Loeb award, the top business journalism award in the country.

Prior to joining the Post-Dispatch, Todd was a regional editor for The Denver Post, supervising a staff of 15 and leading coverage of some of the biggest stories in Colorado. He also has worked as an editor and writer at a number of other papers across the country, including the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Beaumont Enterprise, Shreveport Times and Vicksburg Post. Todd has both a BA and an MBA from Texas A&M University.

We expect him to join us after Labor Day.

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