Tuesday, April 7, 2009

R.I.P. The Strib

The Minneapolis Star Tribune was founded (as the Minneapolis Tribune) in 1867 and is currently the 15th largest newspaper in the country.

On January 15th, 2009 the company filed for bankruptcy. According to the Associated Press: "...the newspaper listed assets of 493.2 million dollars and liabilities of 661.1 million dollars".

In an era where the majority of readers are now migrating towards free news via the internet, the Strib finds itself in the same predicament as other publications such as the Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times.

This week several employees launched a website to "Save the Strib".

Their goal is to raise public awareness of the Star Tribune's dire financial status in hopes of attracting a new owner to take over the company.

My question is simple: Why?

No capitalist in his right mind would want to own the bottomless money pit that the Strib has become.

The Star Tribune may be Minnesota's largest newspaper but its quality of journalism and objectivity has been declining for decades. The liberal spin and propaganda now run rampant through the pages.

Here is a rather novel idea: How about the almighty reporters' union at the Strib agrees to pay freezes and other cost reducing techniques in order to save hundreds of jobs right now?

I doubt the union bosses would agree to such acts of self-sacrifice however.

These labor leaders will relentlessly pursue their outrageous demands until the headquarters of the Strib turns into the downtown unemployment office.

This is an awful time to be out of work and it is unfortunate to see the already sizable unemployment rate growing.

The paper's employees are hoping to recover from their financial peril. They are looking to business leaders, investment firms and even the city and state governments for assistance.

But the response to their pleas has been sparse.

No one can afford to save the Strib.

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