Star Tribune cutting 100 more jobs

Star-Tribune building
The Star-Tribune building, in downtown Minneapolis.
MPR photo/Tom Weber

The Star Tribune announced Monday it will cut about 100 full-time jobs in an effort to become a more efficient player in the evolving newspaper industry.

Up to 30 jobs will be eliminated from the newsroom, editor Nancy Barnes said in a memo to employees in the editorial unit.

Star Tribune Board Chairman Mike Sweeney and the other members of the newspaper's operating committee said in a companywide memo that the recession and troubles for the newspaper industry forced them to make cuts quickly.

"We recognize the impact that these changes will have on the lives of very good people. We wish they were avoidable, but they are not," the memo said.

The cuts will affect every department, but many of the cuts haven't yet been identified, Star Tribune spokesman Ben Taylor said. The cuts are expected to happen in the next couple months, he said.

The Star Tribune emerged from bankruptcy in late September. The operating committee said in the memo that the bankruptcy process had been a distraction, and that it hopes the Star Tribune will now be able to focus on rebuilding the newspaper and making it more innovative.

The additional cuts to the newsroom, representing about 10 percent, were larger than some expected, said Graydon Royce, cochair of the Star Tribune's Newspaper Guild chapter. But he said they weren't a complete surprise.

"Business is tough," Royce said, adding that it isn't yet clear how many of the newsroom positions being cut will be management and how many will be guild covered.

The guild will ask to be involved in any restructuring that takes place, he said.

The Star Tribune and other newspapers are being forced to find new ways to generate revenue as incoming advertising dollars continue to decline.

Company officials are exploring ways to make money through the Web site, such as by having readers pay to access premium content. Officials said in the memo that they expect a major effort to redesign the newspaper's Web site in 2010.