Star Tribune letter to readers: We're not bankrupt!

The beleaguered Star Tribune is set to emerge from bankrtupcy today, and to make sure readers know, Chairman of the Board Michael T.P. Sweeney has posted a letter on the website's front page.

Bankruptcy allowed us to reorganize so that we can be a financially stronger and more resilient company. It also gave us time to do what we know we must. Simply put, we must reinvent our business.

Most of the letter is the kind of banal, self-serving claptrap that we're often treated to from Editor Nancy Barnes on Sunday's editorial page. It always strikes the ear odd when the fourth estate parrots the puffery it usually punctures.

What we do is more than a business to us. It is also a calling, a community service and a public trust. We are proud to serve such an outstanding community, and we are honored to have all of you as readers.

The latter is debatable, as the prolonged and tortured bankruptcy process demonstrated, but the former is most certainly true: The Star Tribune is a business and can't exist without making money. The Strib still lacks a publisher, a key ingredient in the path to profitability. It's never mentioned in the letter, and it bears watching going forward.

That said, we would all be poorer without the Star Tribune, so we wish them luck going forward.

The Star Tribune has also published a traditional business story about this august event.

The paper will have $100 million in debt, down from $480 million when it filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Jan. 15. ... Financial projections by the company show it won't turn a profit before 2013 ...