Mr. Smith Goes to Kenwood

Dane Smith is back, and he’s back with the panache that only serious money can sustain. Is this a good thing? As per Rupert Murdoch’s Pravda West, you decide! When last we saw our hometown hero, March of 2007, Dane Smith was walking the plank at the Newsreel of the Twin Cities, where the new […]

…leaving community hurt, too

Here’s the headline from yesterday’s Strib: "Girl, 6, is grazed by bullet, leaving community hurt, too." It’s tempting just to let that stand as one more blob in the insipid lump of goo that is the Star Tribune. OK, I will, but with just one comment: Doesn’t every bullet that hits a six-year-old hurt our […]

If I were king of the fore-e-e-est

I hope you all noticed the bold initiative of the Star Tribune, as expressed on their editorial page on Sunday. Yup, they put their heads together, snorted and wheezed with the Herculean effort, pressed hard on their temples to concentrate the intellect, and made their endorsement regarding tomorrow’s "Super Tuesday" nationwide primaries and caucuses. And […]

Lost Files of the Star Trib Readers' Rep

Sunday morning’s aren’t nearly as much fun anymore. Not long ago I’d heft the Strib off the doorstep, chuck out the ads, the news and the sports and dig right into my favorite column, "The Readers’ Representative." Having worked for a decade and a half at a daily newspaper, I miss hearing first hand the […]

Spare the Rod, Spoil the Newspaper

I made a mistake the other day and accidentally tuned in to KTLK and whatever right-wing boob they have on during the late morning. With a little checking after I got back to the office, I found his name is Dan Conry, and he has, like so many of his ilk, the IQ and eloquence […]

Randy, The Reader's Rep …

(A semi-regular Q&A with "Randy" the new Star Tribune Reader’s Representative, most frequently found on the corner stool at the Dry Dock roadhouse, in the shadow of the big microwave tower, Chaffey, Wisconsin.) Randy, Your Reader’s Rep: Dang but stuff piles up. I come back from baitin’ a few bear traps, havin’ a couple beers […]

Banana Republic Fades into the Sunset

Damn! Over here I keep a list of great story ideas and names of people I’ve really got to get around to catching up with, just to see what their story is today. Like MPR’s Bill Kling. Like all the guys who played in The Warheads years ago. And like Kirk Anderson, the former cartoonist […]

Kicking the Reading Habit

The wailing and gnashing of teeth continues unabated at the Strib and other print publications these days. A report from ABC, the company that audits the circulation of the Strib and most other daily newspapers, just noted that most daily newspapers’ circulation was down again. The Strib was down over six percent. Editor Nancy Barnes […]

Meet the New Readers' Rep. — Same as the Old

RYBAK: Oh gosh, that Nancy Barnes. How does the girl do it? She’s editor of the Star Tribune and still found time these past two weeks to write a Sunday column filling us in on all the neat goings-on at the paper, just like the old readers’ reps used to do. Why, last week she […]