Star Tribune communications VP Taylor gives up executive role

I’ll interrupt my string of Bill Kling posts for some very inside baseball from the Star Tribune executive suites.

Ben Taylor, the paper’s senior V.P. for marketing and communications, will leave that job Sept. 17 but will remain the paper’s media spokesman. He’s forming his own firm and the Strib will be a client.

According to a staff memo, the Strib’s marketing, promotion and advertising research staff will now report to advertising sales. Consumer research will be under the control of Chief Revenue Officer Jeff Griffing and Consumer Marketing V.P. Rob Gursha. Griffing and Gursha, like Klingensmith, are all Time-Warner veterans hired this year.

The memo says Taylor is giving up his executive perch to “enjoy some additional personal time.” Former owners McClatchy Co. Cowles Media hired him from the New York Times in 1995. Taylor announced he was leaving in 2007 but stayed on and served as the Strib’s spokesman during its 2009 bankruptcy, when Avista Capital Partners controlled the paper.

According to Klingensmith, Taylor “was a rock steady presence for us, in particular, during the difficult last several years of financial restructuring and operational retrenchment. His thoughtful judgment has been invaluable to me in my first year at the company and I am grateful that I will continue to be able to call upon Ben for his good counsel.”

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