Par Ridder named Star Tribune CEO, publisher

St. Paul Pioneer Press publisher replaces J. Keith Moyer, who recently resigned after almost six years as Star Tribune publisher.

Par Ridder, the former publisher of the St. Paul Pioneer Press and the son of a newspaper family that goes back more than a century, moved across the river on Monday to lead the Star Tribune as publisher and CEO.

Ridder, 38, replaces J. Keith Moyer, who recently resigned after almost six years as Star Tribune publisher.

His arrival in Minneapolis, announced to staff this morning in a company meeting, comes the same day as the close of the newspaper's sale to Avista Capital Partners, a New York-based private equity firm.

Ridder took questions from the newspaper's staff for 30 minutes after the announcement. He said he has not seen a budget for the paper, and would spend the day touring the building and meeting the staff.

He mused about his decision to work for a newspaper that for generations was viewed by his family as the competition. His grandfather, he said, read the Star Tribune for 40 years, but never subscribed.

"It's unprecedented, to say the least, for a Ridder to come over here," he said.

The move follows months up upheaval in the industry that saw the sale of Knight-Ridder chain to McClatchy Co., ending the Ridder family's 114-year hold on newspapering. Par Ridder's father, P. Anthony Ridder, oversaw the $4.5 billion sale of the family company last year to the McClatchy Corp. The St. Paul Pioneer Press was then sold to Denver, Colo.-based MediaNews Group.

Before coming to the Pioneer Press in 2004, Ridder was publisher of The Tribune in San Luis Obispo, Calif. He started his career at The Washington Post in advertising sales and later moved to advertising and circulation roles at the Contra Costa Times and the Akron Beacon Journal.

He earned a B.A. in political science from the University of Washington and an MBA in general management from the University of Michigan. He and his wife, Sara, have three children, two daughters and a son.

"Par is one of the most dynamic and talented publishers in the country," said Chris Harte, CEO of the Star Tribune and chairman of The Star Tribune Company.

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