The news of the impending sale of the Star Tribune to Avista Capital Partners has generated no small amount of schadenfreude among the newspaper's critics. Naturally, much of this glee arises from the $530 million sale price, which is less than half what McClatchy paid for the paper less than eight years ago. But for "Red Star" haters in the local blogosphere, the most exciting aspect of the sale is the supposed potential for a shift in the paper's editorial policies.
At Pair 'O Dice, the heavy breathing Tom Swift put it thusly:
The sale to the private equity firm guarantees that the papers' editorial content will now accurately reflect the directions of Avista's media portfolio manager in New York rather than the daily talking points memo couriered over from Plato Ave.
Not to be a buzzkiller, but it appears the personal politics of new Avista head honcho Chris Harte should meld quite nicely with those of the current Strib regime. Harte, who is expected to assume the role of chairman of the board at the Strib, is a longtime Democrat. A few years ago, he contemplated a run against Susan Collins, the moderate Republican Senator from Maine, and since 2000, he has contributed more than $37,000 to assorted Democratic candidates and causes.
For the most hopeful warbloggers, though, there is one glimmer of a good news in Harte's resume. In August, he donated $2,000 to the re-election campaign of Joe Lieberman.