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Is Twin Cities Media Losing Competitive Voices?

Category: Media
Posted: 05/06/15 11:58

by Dave Mindeman

An interesting media note. The Star Tribune has bought City Pages. At first blush, this is a headscratcher. Strib isn't exactly buying a direct competitor but City Pages is not a media giant either. But there are some interesting notes to make on this.

First of all, Glen Taylor (who owns the T-Wolves and Lynx) is the owner of the Star Tribune. Taylor is a former conservative Republican representative and a heavy Republican donor. It is hard to know his overall direction in regards to the Star Tribune...it has made some editorial right turns, but not in a hard core way. Jury is still out on that.

The announcement from City Pages seems to be indicating that they will have complete autonomy from the Strib. That the Star Tribune will have ownership in name only and not mess with what they have for content. How far they can take that is now in question because the Star Tribune is often a target of City Pages and they do tend to lean heavily left politically.

So, let's assume all of that is true. What this gives City Pages is deeper pockets and more resources. Maybe they will be able to expand their coverage and delve deeper into their edgier stories. Or maybe if they get too cute on a particular issue, Taylor will step in and stomp on it. Only time will tell.

I will be curious as to whether or not they will rein in Cory Zurowski, who has done exceptional work in putting Cong. John Kline's dirty work on full display. Taylor and Kline are friends and donor buddies, so it will be interesting to watch how far they let Zurowski go in his critique of Kline.

On the one hand, you wonder if they will rein him in....on the other hand, will the stronger financial structure of City Pages allow him more resources to go even deeper.

It is somewhat troubling that there is getting to be less and less competition in the print media in the Twin Cities. The Star Tribune has moved to the right and the Pioneer Press is, again, on the selling block.

Where does this all lead? I have no idea.
comments (1) permalink
05/07/15 09:55
If you watched last week's Mad Men, you already know what will happen.

It is a headscratcher.
If it is a business decision, why City Pages ?
If it is a political decision, why not buy Community Newspaper Holdings Inc or Small Newspaper Group ... wouldn't they have larger circulations and readers that would agree with the more conservative views ?

Was City Pages really a "competitive voice" ?

OR, was it not the Strib buying a small competitor but instead the non-Minnesota business owners of City Pages that wanted to cash out --- that's what they announced in January.

Personally, I would not be concerned about Glen Taylor's influence on the editorial side as much as who the next owner of the enterprise will be ... and if there is influence, I would hope that the "Cory Zurowskis" would get the message out ... (but that might come after he is relieved of his employment ... haven't they already severed at least two City Pages jobs?)

Speaking of Chairman Kline, it is sinful how the Strib has praised him for finally visiting a Native American school ... there are over 60 schools that are in dire need of investment, and all Chairman Kline has done is write a letter asking that President Obama's budget for Native American schools ($58 Million) be approved while voting for the Republican budget that demands $5 TRILLION in cuts
 

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