Star Tribune's latest monthly operating loss: $1.4 million

In the latest money stats from the Star Tribune, the state's largest newspaper reported a $1.4 million operating loss during the month of February, according to the Associated Press. February was the paper's first full month under bankruptcy protection.

The company's cash jumped during the month, which MinnPost's David Brauer attributes to Christmas advertising payments finally coming in.

The Star Tribune filed for bankruptcy protection on Jan. 15. The paper's stock pile of cash grew from $29.6 million to $34.9 million by March 1, a $5.2 million leap from Feb. 2.

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If historically better quarters outpace economic deterioration and the advertising shift from print, the '09 projection is makeable.

Still, how does a paper that lost $1.4 million in February hope not just to be profitable, but earn enough to pay back whatever post-bankruptcy debt is left after Christmastime cashflows abate?

Management's answer is clearly labor cuts: the newest figures do not reflect $20 million management is steadily extracting from union workers. That amounts to $1.67 million a month. (Union officials say the actual cuts may be higher.)

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