Fridley kid Klingensmith named Star Tribune's new publisher

Mike Klingensmith, a Fridley kid who once drove a cab in the Twin Cities before heading for the bright lights of big time New York City, has been named the Star Tribune's new publisher. He brings with him two decades of media business experience at Time, Inc., as well as a more recent specialty: media mergers and acquisitions.

Klingensmith joins the paper after its recent emergence from bankruptcy, a series of layoffs, and an ongoing struggle to find new footing in a fragmented media marketplace, and departure of its last publisher, Chris Harte, in the fall.

The newspaper's chairman, Mike Sweeny, praised what he called his new publisher's long track record in the media business trenches.

Job No. 1 upon his return to Minnesota: End the Star Tribune's dismal revenue picture, Klingensmith says.

Looking into his crystal ball s a media businessman, he recently told BtoB Magazine:

There's been a necessity [among media companies] to redo their capital structures. Everybody has been trying to put the fires out; so the focus has not been on M&A, except in distressed situations.

A quick online search reveals Klingensmith is the youngest of 10 kids, and married with two children of his own. He earned his BA and MBA from University of Chicago from 1971-76, before moving to New York and directing circulation for various Time Inc. magazines. From there:

  • Financial analyst, Sports Illustrated, 1977-1980
  • General manager, Time Worldwide, 1983-1986
  • Chief financial officer, Time Inc., 1986--1989
  • Founding publisher, Entertainment Weekly, 1989-1998
  • President, Sports Illustrated, 1998--2002
  • Executive vice president, Time Inc., 2002--2008

In 2008 he went to work as the managing director of AdMedia Partners, a media and marketing merger and acquisition advisory firm with a Park Avenue address in New York City. (More on some of their transactions here.)

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