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Strib Editor Nancy Barnes leaving for Houston paper

She was editor in Minneapolis for six years during a tumultuous time.

Nancy Barnes, who’s been editor and senior vice president of the Star Tribune for six years, is leaving Minneapolis to become editor of the Houston Chronicle.

During her tenure, the Strib filed for bankruptcy and an investment group became the new owner. It also won two Pulitzer Prizes earlier this year.

Barnes came to the paper from the Raleigh News & Observer in 2003 to be business editor and later was deputy managing editor. She was named editor in 2007.

In a statement to employees this morning, she said:

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“Sometimes, individuals leave an organization because they are unhappy or they fear for the future. That is emphatically not the case. Quite the contrary, this company is in the best of hands.

“…But in the end, I decided it was time for me to take on some big new challenges, while continuing to serve journalism. I came here on the five-year plan and have stayed for nearly 11.”

Star Tribune Publisher Mike Klingensmith said a search for Barnes’ replacement will include internal and external candidates.

Klingensmith said:

“Under her leadership, the Star Tribune has made tremendous gains in the quality and depth of the news and information we present and innovative ways we deliver that content to readers.”

A March report from the Alliance for Audited Media shows the Houston Chronicle 13th in the nation in average daily circulation with 231,233 print copies, and also 102,341 digital circulation.

The Star Tribune, in that report, was 20th, with 227,694 print and 73,651 digital.