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St. Paul Pioneer Press – Knight Ridder newspaper

St. Paul Pioneer Press – Knight Ridder newspaper – Brief Article

Joel Davis

Minnesota

The St. Paul Pioneer Press prides itself on what editor and senior vice president Walker Lundy calls “hell-raising journalism,” which he defines as “something someone wishes wouldn’t run, or something that gets reader reaction.”

Winner of a 1999 Pulitzer Prize for beat reporting, the newspaper is kept on its toes by the McClatchy Co.-owned Star Tribune, just across the river in Minneapolis. “It’s probably the most competitive market in the Knight Ridder group,” says Pioneer Press publisher Rick Sadowski.

“We have targeted our resources in a way that addresses the needs of our readers,” says Sadowski of the Knight Ridder paper, which has a daily circulation of 205,798 and Sunday circulation of 263,264. “We have a staff that’s passionate about readers and advertisers.”

The Pioneer Press’ news staff is more than 230 strong. Lundy runs the newsroom with several editorial guidelines in mind. These include running at least one piece of useful news or information on every section front and on the Web (www.pioneerplanet.com) every day; printing at least one story a week that focuses on diversity issues; publishing stories that readers consider surprising or unusual on at least three of five section covers every day; and including a visual surprise in the entertainment and features sections, and on at least one news cover.

Although management is especially happy about the paper’s sports and business coverage–the 1999 Pulitzer went to George Dohrmann for reporting on academic fraud in the University of Minnesota’s men’s basketball program, making him the target of much local criticism at the time–it is looking to shore up neighborhood coverage and to make headway into Star Tribune turf.

One Minnesotan who might prefer the Tribune is Gov. Jesse Ventura “VenturaLand,” a weekly editorial cartoon strip, has agitated him so much that his lawyers have threatened a copyright-infringement suit over the use of his name and likeness.

“What a great time to be a publisher of this newspaper,” Sadowski says. “A governor who’s as flamboyant and outspoken as he is–he’s been fun to cover.”

COPYRIGHT 2001 BPI Communications, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group