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Former Strib publisher contemplates online journalism project

Newspapers are dying. That's been the inevitable conclusion in recent years as papers across the country watch profits plummet and readership decline. The Star Tribune's announcement that it's shedding 50 jobs from its newsroom, including some of the newspaper's most high profile bylines, is only the most recent grim harbinger.

But Joel Kramer senses opportunity in the bloodletting. Kramer formerly worked as both editor and publisher of the Star Tribune. Since stepping down from the latter post in 1998, he's taught at the University of Minnesota, dabbled in politics, and founded a think tank called Growth & Justice. He's now contemplating the creation of a start-up newspaper—albeit one that would likely be restricted to the Internet.

"Watching the rapid deterioration of the business model of the major metro paper prompted me to think about it and also prompted lots of people to call me," Kramer says. "The need is there because the metro model is declining fast. The opportunity is there from the point of view of available people. That's all I can say for now."