Star Tribune files Chapter 11

Mike Rose

The largest newspaper in the state filed bankruptcy papers Thursday night, according to a Star Tribune report. The move was not unexpected, as the Tribune has been struggling for some time and has been unable to payoff lenders. Maybe the clearest sign of the paper’s struggles is this statistic: advertising revenue in 2008 was $26 million, down from about $59 million in 2007 and $115 million in 2004.

The tough times faced by The Star Tribune are indicative of the overall state of the newspaper industry. Last month, newspaper giant The Tribune Co., publisher of the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Time and Baltimore Sun among other publications, also filed for bankruptcy. Star Tribune publisher Chris Harte said the move would not impact day-to-day operations of the paper, such as home delivery and reporting. “We intend to use the Chapter 11 process to make this great Twin Cities institution stronger, leaner and more efficient so that it is well positioned to benefit when economic conditions begin to improve,” he said in a statement.