Star Tribune Metro sections rezoning not OK with some

Prospect Park receives a section that doesn't cover the neighborhood.

Joy Petersen

When Kit Hadley withdrew from her position of Minneapolis library chief Thursday, Prospect Park community members weren’t informed – at least, not by their newspaper.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune rezoned to change the distribution of its Metro section beginning Oct. 10. Readers now receive one of four local sections – North, East, West and South metros – depending where they live, which come out Wednesday through Sunday. The West section covers northwest and southwest Minneapolis.

Since then, Prospect Park residents have been receiving the North Metro section of the paper instead of the Northwest or Southwest Metro sections, which contain the most Minneapolis news, said Paul Zerby, former Minneapolis city councilman, Prospect Park resident and Star Tribune reader since 1959.

“The ‘Strib’ seems to be making a concerted effort to pick up suburban markets and that’s all right,” Zerby said, “but you can’t do it by alienating your core readership in Minneapolis, which I thought was happening.”

Zerby said the community members have been frustrated from the beginning of the change.

Duchesne Drew, assistant managing editor for local news at the Star Tribune, said the newspaper rezoned to give more news to suburban areas.

Residents like Dick Kain, a Star Tribune reader since 1966, said since the paper changed, he has called the Star Tribune many times to see if the neighborhood could get a different local section.

“I called something like Thursday and Friday and Monday and finally on Tuesday someone called me back,” Kain said. “I even called and said, ‘Can’t you just mail me that section of the paper that I’m missing?’ They said, ‘Oh, no we can’t do that.’ “

So many residents had contacted and complained to Steve Brandt, the Star Tribune reporter who wrote about Kit Hadley, that he said he decided to do something about it.

After consulting the editors at the Star Tribune about which section Prospect Park falls within, he said the neighborhood should receive the West section of the paper.

“I’m just trying to work within the Star Tribune internally to see if we can make the system better so that all Minneapolis readers get the same news,” Brandt said.

Though Kain said he is frustrated with the situation, he won’t stop subscribing to the paper because of the local news it does provide, he said.

In addition to calling the paper, residents have posted numerous concerns about the paper on the Prospect Park E-list, Lois Willand, the Prospect Park E-list administrator, said.

“There’s just too much news that is from regions that are far away from us,” Willand said. “I think the bulk of the people would just like to get news that is more metro, just city news.”

Though many members are dissatisfied with the section, some won’t be canceling their subscriptions anytime soon.

Jane Starr, a Prospect Park resident, said the paper was what used to get her day going, but since she began receiving the North Metro section her days have been starting wrong.

“I won’t stop subscribing for the paper,” Starr said. “I have no choice. If I want any news at all that’s all I got.”