The Star Tribune won a prestigious Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism on Tuesday for its coverage of former Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn’s sudden departure from the company.
During a ceremony in New York, the Star Tribune was honored in the breaking news category, which also included finalists from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Bloomberg News and Reuters.
The Star Tribune entry — “Best Buy CEO Resigns Under Cloud” — featured work by staff members Thomas Lee, David Phelps, Janet Moore, Paul McEnroe, Tony Kennedy, Patrick Kennedy and Eric Wieffering.
When Dunn resigned from Richfield-based Best Buy on April 10, 2012, the Star Tribune responded with several stories, videos and other reportage about the challenges that had befallen the company.
Initially, Best Buy said little about why Dunn had stepped down, only stating that there were no disagreements between the company and its former CEO. Within hours, the Star Tribune revealed that Best Buy was investigating Dunn for alleged personal misconduct.
One day later, the Star Tribune reported that Dunn was being investigated for allegations that he had misused company resources to carry on an affair with a company employee.
Best Buy confirmed the investigation and vowed to release the results of its investigation to the public.
The Loeb Awards, founded in 1957, are meant to honor the best work in financial journalism each year. The UCLA Anderson School of Management administers the program, established by Gerald Loeb, a founding partner of brokerage firm E.F. Hutton.
At the awards ceremony Tuesday, news organizations were honored for work in categories that include beat reporting, investigations, explanatory journalism and personal finance.
John Huey, former editor-in-chief at Time Inc., was the recipient of Loeb’s 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award. Michael Williams, global enterprise editor at Reuters, received the Lawrence Minard Editor Award, named in memory of Laury Minard, founding editor of Forbes Global and a former Loeb Awards judge.
This is the Star Tribune’s second Loeb Award in three years. In 2011, the newspaper was recognized for “Hounded,” a series of stories by Chris Serres and Glenn Howatt that examined the questionable practices of the debt collection industry in Minnesota.