3Q: incoming Star Tribune editor Nancy Barnes

class=img_thumbleft> Yesterday Nancy Barnes was named the new editor of the Star Tribune. She came to Minnesota from the Raleigh News & Observer in 2003 and previously served as the paper's managing editor for content. Barnes takes over at a time of great flux for the state's largest daily newspaper. In late December the McClatchy Company announced that it was selling the Strib to Avista Capital Partners for $530 million. The deal is expected to go through in early March. I reached Barnes by telephone this afternoon.


City Pages: How would you characterize newsroom morale in the wake of the sale?

Nancy Barnes: It's been an uncertain time would be the best way to characterize that. People don't know exactly what to expect. I think the appointment of an editor, whether they like me or not, helps because it lets them know who's going to be there and what the situation is. But I think until we actually get through this transition and really get a sense of what it's like under the new owner people will be just a little bit on edge, and I recognize that.

CP: How do you expect the paper to change under your direction?

NB: When I talked to the staff yesterday I talked a lot about the need to move more quickly into more methods of digital reporting. We'll be doing a lot more video in the upcoming years. It's something a lot of newspapers do on their web sites. We do some of it. We do more now than we did six months ago. But six months from now we're going to want to do more.

I've been working real hard in the last six months to put in place a good investigative and computer assisted reporting team. That should help us be a stronger newspaper in 2007. We'll take a look at some of the beats and see if there are some changes that need to be made in terms of what we are covering. Are there some things in the community that should be covered that we aren't covering now? Those are some of the things that we'll be looking at.

CP: You are the first female editor of the Star Tribune. How do you feel about that?

NB: I've been told that that's the case. I haven't actually researched it. It's the year 2007. If we're still marking our firsts, I'm not sure that's really a good thing. But, you know, somebody had to be there.