Thursday, October 25, 2007

New Internet Venture

Hey guys.

What have you been up to? Not much has been going on over here. Same old, same old. Since I'm not publishing the Star Tribune or Pioneer Press anymore, I've been looking for things to do. I can only spend so much time helping my wife redecorate our house or work on my screenplay.

My buddy Kevin and I were talking over beers the other day and he said I needed to get back in the game. We were talking about my screenplay, The Deadline, and he said a screenplay was fine and everything, but I need to get back in the saddle and do what I love and that's business, mostly publishing. And I think Kev is right. Why not try to get back into publishing?

But you know what I've learned from this blog? Paper publishing is the past. The internet is the future. You can say whatever you want and it doesn't matter. You can even just take the articles that other people write, put them on your web blog and act like you're reporting, especially with politics. Kevin thinks I should start my own internet paper and do the publishing for that. Maybe I will, who knows. I just need to find something to do with my free time.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A Wealth of Support

Thanks to everyone who has sent warm wishes to me after hearing about the verdict. As you might have heard, Avista will mostly likely continue with the trial. They're not a group who will just go down without a fight obviously. You can bet that the hacks are pumped about the idea of a longer trial, it gives them more to write about. But I'm still going to take the high road on this and will abide by the judge's decision for now.

A friend of mine who sent her regrets also showed me an internet post that says that a new internet site wants to hire me as a joke. They want me to be their unpaid intern. That shows you what kind of class these internet hacks have. All they can do is report on things that other people do and kick people when they think they are down.

If I was going to work for any new internet blog, it would be Kramer's MinnPost. I've already got the experience managing almost all those reporters, and if I worked there I wouldn't have to pay for any benefits or retirement when they all retire in the next five to eight years. The bottom line would be golden and they could go back to writing the same stories that they have been writing for the last twenty years.

Thanks again to the people who have sent cards and notes and have called. You're the best.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Sad Day for Minneapolis Media

Well, as I'm sure you've heard, Judge Higgs has ruled in favor of Dean Singleton and has said that I'm on a year long vacation from the Star Tribune publisher position.

I could whine about how unfair the ruling is. I could complain about how the sharks like Lambert are going to use the unfair ruling to take pot shots at me and the paper because they don't have any class and use other's misfortune to make a living. I could take my own shots at Dean Singleton for dragging both companies through the mud by suing everyone associated with the Star Tribune (Kevin gets to stay, by the way, I'm the only one found "guilty", surprise surprise).

But I'm above that.

I will just say that the law is the law, and Judge Higgs interpreted it as he saw it. I'll also say that Harte will do a great job with the paper and that when I come back to the publisher position, I'm going to make the paper even better than it was before.

Also, I'd like to thank all my supporters and the people at the Star Tribune for working through the tough times. Don't worry, we'll get through this.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Our Own Paparazzi

Minnesota doesn't need paparazzi. We have internet reporters who will report on the internet any rumor that one of his buddies who still works at a real job emails to him. Just read this ridiculous report from Lambert, who thinks that someone told the Star Tribune editorial board to not support a gas tax for fixing the bridge. He finishes with, "I don't even have ninth-hand as to who that might be."

Great reporting. Keep up the good work. I'm surprised he didn't find a way to slam me in it. (You can just see his earlier post for that.) Like I said, who needs the paparazzi?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Tag Analysis

I had some extra time this weekend because it was a three day weekend and I used it to do a quick analysis of the tags on this internet blog.

I try to use informative, comprehensive, and detailed tags in order to identify trends in my writings. Here's what I've found. I've used 197 separate tags as of my last report and will clearly surpass the 200 tag mark with this post. At the current rate of tagging, with a constant output rate, I will most likely surpass the 300 mark sometime in late September or early October.

If you look at the tags on my internet blog, you can see that I cover lots of topics. Of the 197 tags, I've used four tags seven times and three tags six times. On the other end of the tag spectrum, I've used 157 tags just once. What's that tell me? That there's a light focus on a few spots, but a diversity of topics on this blog.

There's another thing that's important with this analysis and that's the actual tags. It's great to see so many tags being used, but I should pay more attention to using quality tags. For example, "budget" and "data" only show up once. That's no good. Also, "good ideas" only shows up once. That's just a flat out error!

Now that this tag analysis is finalized, check back to see how implementing the adjustments to tagging will improve this internet blog.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

That Pervert Larry Craig

Kate published her article today on how the Star Tribune missed the fact that a United States senator was having sex with other men in the bathroom at the airport. I've got something to add. Stroke of bad luck #3: Reporters sit around. I'm glad we're paying these guys so much to come into the office every once and awhile to make a few phone calls and write up ten stories apiece on the state fair. No wonder Avista wants me to keep hacking away at our bloated labor costs.

And what in the world was going through Larry David's head? It's one thing to get a hot hooker if he's staying over night at the Graves or something. But having some dude give you a BJ in the airport bathroom is gross and wrong. That's something that is obviously going to come back and get you in the ass, if you know what I'm saying.

Did you see what he said, too? "I'm not gay, the people who I have sex with are." No, dude. Having sex with guys makes you gay. At least bisexual. And cheap. Just fork over the cash for some privacy, that way you won't be arrested by some rent a cop and the story won't be covered like three months after the fact.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Don't Listen To The Vikings

Fucking Vikings. I don't know if you saw it, but they backed out of our deal with us. They were supposed to buy some of the land that the Star Tribune owns, but decided that the price was too high and that they would look too committed to being in Minneapolis. Then they wouldn't be able to get as much public funding as they wanted.

I told them that they could make a killing off that land. All they had to do was try and include something with LRT to connect up with the new bridge and they'd get all the government money they could want. Instead of buying the land and giving us some capital to sustain our operation for awhile, they backed out and we got screwed. You probably don't know this, but land sales are a great way to generate short term capital. There was even a piece in the journal about it. But now we're stuck with the land and pretty soon we will be stuck with an empty building when we finish consolidating workspace. And I had to make up a bullshit story for a press release. Thanks Zigi.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

"The Deadline"

With everything that I've got to do as Publisher I haven't had time to tell you about some new developments with my screenplay.

First off, I've come up with a title. "The Deadline". It's like you can just picture someone saying at the end of the preview, "we have to make the deadline!" And then it just cuts to a black screen. When I came up with the title I told it to one of my buddies. He said, "Dude, there's got to be a movie called Deadline already." I hadn't thought about that because the name is so good. I had my secretary look it up on the internet and yeah there's a bunch of movies called Deadline. But it's cool because I added "the" in front of the title to set aside the name of my screenplay from the other Deadlines.

I'm also wondering if part of the film should be set in Europe. Right now I don't really have it set anywhere except a really gritty city that takes a strong character to survive, especially in the journalism business.

And to tell you the truth, I was thinking about dropping Elle MacPherson from the project. I found out that she's kind of old to be a lead and I hadn't seen a picture of her lately. But then my buddy sent this picture of her to me and she's still smoking hot. Having an older actress play Emily Scott will also give the movie some drama cred.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Par Posts

These internet blogs are really hard to keep up. Even though the entries are short, you have to write one every day or you forget about it.

Did you see that Joel Kramer made an official announcement on his new internet paper? His business philosophy is to hire the reporters who earned big salaries at the real papers for not really doing anything and pay them peanuts. I wonder what that will get him. Also, if Kramer thinks that his new venture will go anywhere when it looks about as good as my internet blog that I haven't updated in two weeks, he's wackier than Singleton.

Someone also told me that the old editor of the City Pages was starting the same thing. I'm guessing it will just as silly, but with more stories on police brutality. Good luck, guys, you're going to need it. Raising money is one thing, getting reporters to work and competing with the big dogs is much harder.

Monday, August 13, 2007

More Truth from the Trial

I found some more information on my trial in the media. No, not local media or internet of course! They're too busy with sex offenders and murders and Karl Rove. It's from Editor & Publisher, where they actually report accurate information on publishers.

At my trial, OhSang Kwon, one of the founding partners behind Avista gave a deposition. You should read the excerpt. Kwon basically says that I let him know that in getting ready to move from Saint Paul that I found some old non-compete agreements in my secretary's desk.

You know how when you move you find stuff you forgot you had? That's what these papers were like. My secretary and I talked about shredding them. That way they wouldn't be a big deal. But first I checked with Kwon to see if he thought they were worth saving. He didn't know and told me to ask my lawyer. And they weren't a big deal until we got sued by that ass Singleton.

The other thing about the non-competes is that they don't really matter anyway. I'm the publisher and could void them if I wanted. Which I did.

Kwon also mentions that he wishes I didn't take those spreadsheets with me when I came over. Believe me, me too. He even says that I wish I didn't. He also said that nothing was done that was illegal. Take that Singleton.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Truth Will Set You Free

The truth is finally making its way out to the media about my trial. Well, some of the media. I've checked through the local papers and looked on the internet hack sites, but no one seems to care that transcripts with important points from my trial are now out there.

Let me tell you a little about publishing. It's not like being the editor. Editors just sit in their offices all day and say "this story will get traction" or "that angle won't work, find another one". Every once and a while editors will also get a story idea and tell a reporter to go out and report on it. Then the editors check in with each other and see how the paper turned out. Big deal.

It's not like that for publishers and managers. They have to direct everything that's happening for their paper. They have to know how their business is doing, whether they are succeeding, getting people to purchase their paper. They have to also know their market, like how other papers are doing. And not just papers, but other places advertisers are placing ads.

If you read my testimony, you'll see that management at newspapers get information on competing papers in their markets. They do this because a lot of those papers don't have similar sized competition in their area, so it's tough to set benchmarks to measure success. You can't know how successful you are or aren't unless you have a way to measure. You also can't measure performance.

Take Tiger for example. If Tiger didn't play with any other golfers, he wouldn't know if he was good or not. But when he beats everyone for the PGA Championship, he knows and everyone else knows how awesome he is at golf. And playing with other pro players on different courses, he can also see where his game needs improvement.

It's the same with publishing. We need to know how we're doing. And some of us are like Tiger. We're good, but we still care about improving our game. If our paper is losing money from not managing the labor line, we need to work on that part of game. But we can't work on it unless we know it's a problem.

Here's a question for you. If it's okay to get information for benchmarks on papers in totally different parts of the Midwest, why wouldn't it be okay to use the information you compiled yourself for the last several years at a paper that's in the same city? It's like Tiger from this year playing against Tiger from a few years ago!

Hopefully more of the trial will make its way out. It's helpful to clear up the misconceptions people have on what really happened.

(And congratulations on the PGA Championship, Tiger.)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Screenplay Idea

It's been pretty hectic around the Star Tribune since the 35W bridge collapsed. I haven't really been able to update my internet blog with all the chaos. We've been updating the website and sending out reporters to cover the bridge and working the numbers on maybe some more resizing of the staff. The bridge collapsing also affected traffic downtown by our building. Anyway, it's been busy.

Today is the first day that I've had some free time to myself. Remember when I mentioned that I might want to write a screenplay? I think I might start to work on it. Here's the idea.

A young manager works for newspaper in a mid-sized city. Maybe Philadelphia because it's gritty. The manager finds out that one of his reporters who is working on an explosive story goes missing and the manager discovers some clues to the disappearance on the reporter's work computer. While he's investigating the clues, he runs into an editor from a rival paper who is also working on the same explosive story. She's also smoking hot, but really smart. The manager and the hot editor form a team and try to find the missing reporter. Along the way you can feel the tension between the two and the suspense as they get deeper into the investigation.

That's what I've got so far. There also needs to be some comedy in there somewhere, like some comic relief. And I'm not sure who would play the danger loving manager, but someone like Elle MacPherson could play the competing editor that falls in love with the manager and defects to his paper.

I also need to think of a title.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Welcome to the Future.

If you haven't seen the front of the Star Tribune's homepage, you'll want to go over there right now and take a look at the top right hand corner.

That's right. Video.

All the other news organizations have video and now so do we. It's doesn't have Amy Hockert or crazy stuff on it like YouTube, but it does have news footage that went into our print articles. It really is like we're in the future. The future of journalism. In a week or two our tech people should have Hecker's logo at the beginning of each video, too, and that will be like the future of advertising.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Bridge Collapse

Wow. That's all I can say.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Building A Championship Team

It wasn't easy to hear about KG getting traded. What in the world are those front office folks thinking, I thought. But I've thought about it a little more. And after some thinking, sometimes you've got to do what you've got to do, either to win a championship or in the case of the T-Wolves to build a championship team.

It's the same with being running a newspaper. Yeah, there are people who've been on your team for a long time. People that the fans really like. Faces of the franchise. But sometimes it doesn't work out with those players and you've got to let them go. Remember J.R. Rider? Lots of people had J.R. Rider jerseys on at the games back when he was playing. But Rider wasn't helping the team win and the team got rid of him. For the good of the team. And it turns out Rider was just a thug and it was the right move.

The Wolves have had some good players and some really good players and even a great player with Garnett. And the Star Tribune has had some good people work for it. But if the paper is going to be a championship paper, the front office will have to make some hard moves.

We've already traded some of our key players. And it helped. We're already a better team than when we were two years ago. But we're not great. And we want a great team. So we're going to have to let more people go to help the team become a championship team.

Glen Taylor didn't like to see KG go and I don't like that more people are going to go from the Star Tribune. The biased coverage against us is almost enough to never let anyone go ever again. This next round will probably be another shit storm of people saying that the sky is falling without even looking at our bottom line. But that comes with any business, whether it's publishing or coaching a basketball team.

I'll miss you, Kev. But we can catch up after the Wolves make it to the West Coast Finals next year.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Pools Are For Swimsuits

Someone just forwarded me the internet page that has pictures from the Star Tribune's vitamn fashion show at the Calhoun Beach Club. At the time I was bummed that I couldn't attend because the last time it was like a swimsuit competition sponsored by our company. That means the publisher should be sitting front and center. But after looking at the pictures, I'm glad I didn't go. None of these chicks are that hot (this one is the best) and only one of them is wearing a swimsuit top. This is totally something for my wife and her friends, not me. I hope this isn't what's being printed in our free paper or we're going to have to increase the budget for give aways again.

So Long Good Buddy

I can't believe the Timberwolves traded KG. Are they crazy? And for a group of jokers and a draft pick? Incredible.

One of the worst parts of the trade is that everyone is saying they are happy KG. Now he'll actually have a chance to win a championship, not just getting to the second round of the finals one or two times in his career. The Timberwolves front office should be ashamed at how poorly people they run their operation.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Dining for a Cause

This weekend my wife and I are going to that new Cosmos restaurant in Minneapolis. She read about their new chef in Minnesota Monthly and now wants to go eat there. That way she can talk to her girlfriends about it. She also likes to tell lucky me all about it. The old chef, Bill Bixby Dahtry, left to go teach, which is really admirable or noble, and the new chef Steven Trojan has done a great job with his well constructed and multicultural menu.

Anyway, I hope it's good, whatever it is. To tell you the truth, I'm not much for fancy dining, unless it's that place Carousel in downtown St. Paul. It's called Carousel because the tables slowly move in a circle so you can get a view of all of the Twin Cities. And it's on top of Crowne Plaza, which is pretty high, so you really can see a lot of stuff. Also, it's really classy. You've got to dress up if you're going to eat there at night.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Excel Tip

Some of the best parts of using Excel are the keyboard shortcuts. If you get good enough at Excel and memorize the hot keys, it can be like playing an instrument. I know that sounds dorky, but it's true. Just try these semi-advanced key combos and see how much less you use your mouse and still fly through a spreadsheet:

F4: Repeats the last command you just performed.

Alt,e,s,v: Paste special values (instead of a general paste).

Ctrl-Shift-7: box outline around your cell (or your selected group of cells) for formating.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The City Pages Cover Story

I blogged too soon about C.J.'s cover story. If you pick up this week's City Pages, you'll see that yours truly made the cover. Don't congratulate me, though. It's pretty much the exact same boring slam attempt you'll find from all the hacks who've been harping on me since my trial.

If you've read this internet blog or any other paper in the last two months, go ahead and skip the summary by the City Pages, except for this line from Harte:

"I'm frankly astounded at how many journalists are jumping to conclusions on the basis of allegations of a competitor who is obviously out to gain competitive advantage."

No kidding! Even the City Pages smear shows readers how Singleton loves nothing more than trying to act tough at the trial, which is why he's wasted so much money trying to sue me. Well, that and cutting newspaper jobs, which is why they call him "Lean Dean".

But that's not the best part. The best part is that this hack job comes from the corporate owned City Pages, where out of town ownership didn't even have the decency to buy out their reporters like we did. Nope. They just sent some goofy college kid that their smarmy reporters couldn't stand to run the paper and everyone quit. That's real classy.

Hey kettle, maybe if my ads sales team starting running phone sex and hot gay massage ads, we'd make even more money and have as much credibility as you. Of all the people trying to make a scandal of my trial, you're the last ones who should be pointing fingers, even if it is after everyone one else beat you to it.

All Comers Welcome

When you're on top, people will come after you. It's just how it works. Everyone wants a shot at the champ.

I'm used to it. The key is not to get worked up, even when the nobodies try to make money off you. That's why this retarded post from Pioneer Press reporter Ken Doctor doesn't even phase me. I mean, first of all, this clown thought up penalties for me even though my civil trial is still on-going and will in the end show that I didn't do anything illegal. And did you read the penalties? No wonder this guy isn't a reporter anymore, he doesn't have any creativity. Burying my laptop for people to find on the treasure hunt is probably the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

Here's a real penalty. Having to read crap from internet hacks like this guy. This is exactly why I don't check out these stupid internet blogs unless someone from management or my lawyers send it to me. But it always happens. Talking shit about me is financially rewarding. And that means people are going to keep doing it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

C.J. Is A Cover Girl

The new issue of Minnesota Monthly has a profile on C.J., a reporter at the Star Tribune. It's a great article. It really shows you how hard C.J. works to get her stories. Her work pays off, too. She's the most popular columnist we have, even more popular than Kersten.

After I found out about C.J. being on the cover of the magazine, I sent her a note to congratulate her. I would have sent the same note to any of the reporters who were featured on the cover of a magazine, but let's face it we don't have that many reporters who are that well respected. Maybe Sid, but that's it. Of all the reporters that we wanted to buy out, the management team was really hoping that she would stay on and keep covering the celebrities and local news. And she did, which is great.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Paul Magers House Into A Home

We're still re-decorating of Paul Magers's house. I can't believe it either. My wife's designer told her that maybe I should work on furnishing a home office. That would make me more supportive of buying all the new stuff for the house. Getting rid of all the ear marked Crate & Barrel and West Elm and all the other home catalogues, that's what would make me more supportive.

But a home office isn't a bad idea. We have one now, but it could be updated. Also, if Avista promotes me out of the publisher spot at the Star Tribune, I might want to work partially from home like a lot of reporters do. I could get two monitors on the computer or a sweet laptop or something. Actually, I could get a wi fi and take the laptop to the pool when the wife was out.

With a home office, I could also write a book or different editorials for the Wall Street Journal. I don't know what they would be about, but it could be topical. Can you imagine that? Sitting by the pool with beer, writing articles or a screenplay? That's the life right there.

I'll have to think about this screenplay idea more.

Friday, July 20, 2007

A Beautiful Relationship

You can tell a lot about a guy from his friends, the saying goes. Well read this post at an internet blog called "Fraters Libertas":

There's got to be something right about a guy who's enflamed such hatred in the local journalism community.


Please. Par Ridder's antics damaging the "credibility and integrity" of the Star Tribune is like saying the ocean floor damaged the hull of the Titanic.

Now this guy gets it! He loves free market economics, hates reporters, doesn't question authority, and his internet blog links to those execs at TCF bank who write Powerline. He even agrees with the getting rid of all our negative national coverage of the White House and focusing on local news.

Fraters Libertas even took care of that hack Brian Lambert. He points out how Lambert does nothing but "document" and "revel" in my trial, even though the trial is on-going and I'll be cleared of any wrong doing.

But he's wrong about one thing, though. He says I'm doing something right. Come on buddy, I'm doing a lot of things right, if you know what I'm saying. Stop down to the Star Tribune sometime, and we'll have the company will take you out to lunch.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Out with the CFO, In with the Consultant

The Star Tribune management team lost a great team player this week. Mike, buddy, we're going to miss you.

This is a tough business we're in. Sometimes a door opens that you've just got to pass through, even if that means moving to Iowa. It's nice to see Mike is also moving on past the lawsuit and on to greener pastures. Much greener pastures!

And for another update, to show commited Avista and I are to quality journalism at the Star Tribune, you'll be glad to hear the company hired Robin Domeniconi from Time Magazine to be a consultant. If you don't know anything about the news or journalism, but own a media company like Avista, Domeniconi is just the person you want to hire. Even though the reporters think they can vote out the management at our company, Avista is still going with top notch people to help run the ship.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Excel Tip

This is a good one. Let's say you've brought over some spreadsheets of contacts from your old job, but don't know how long it has been since you've made a sales call. You can just use the DATEDIF function in Excel.

Identify the cells with the last date a sales call was made, like in A1, and then write this formula in the next cell, like in B1, to calculate the time: =DATEDIF(A1,NOW(),"y")

You can than use Excel's IF function -- for example, =IF(A2>Y) -- to identify all the days that are greater than a certain amount. This way you can follow up with your clients after two weeks and just touch base with them on any ongoing transactions.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

"We, the journalists of the Star Tribune, call on Par Ridder to resign as publisher. We believe the unethical actions to which he admitted in court have damaged the Star Tribune's credibility and integrity and undermined our ability to hold public figures accountable for their actions. For the good of the Star Tribune and the community it serves, we believe he should step down."

It looks like I'm getting a letter tomorrow that asks me to step down. Yesterday the reporter's Guild voted 110 to 2 to ask me to resign. To be honest, it stings a little.

I don't think reporters know how tough it is to run a paper these days. News is just bad business. Try to put out a good product, no one will read it. People would rather read C.J. and the AP headlines than anything a reporter would spend expensive time on. And when you give people what they want to read, they still don't read it. How many more baseball writers could we frigging have and we still aren't getting 15%+ returns? And the reporters want me to quit because I was bringing over some forms to help out the business.

But whatever, like Avista has said, they run the show, not the labor line.

Monday, July 16, 2007

"The Guild does not get to decide who is publisher of the Star Tribune."

That's what Harte had to tell the Reporter's Guild yesterday. I think they forget that. Harte also reminded them of something else, this:

"Star Tribune Chairman Chris Harte said the newspaper's owner, Avista Capital Partners, has full confidence in Ridder."

The story that has those quotes also says the Guild represents about 300 reporters and other people who work at papers. We'll see how many it represents after tomorrow's vote and after Avista keeps me as the Publisher. The report even points out that I just took the spreadsheets from the Pioneer Press so I could remake them at the Star Tribune. It's because they're complex spreadsheets that would be hard to remake. But that's I guess not what the reporters want to think.

An Easy Weekend

Sometimes you have to just relax on the weekends. It's been pretty busy with the trial and writers having their meeting to force me out this week.

I decided that this weekend I was just going to unwind. You know, sit around and have some me time. You have to "take it easy". I didn't even want to go up north because I would have to fight the traffic coming back. If you go to your cabin on the weekend, you know what I mean. It's really bad now that 35E is all under construction.

Here's all that I did. I watched some tv that was on the DVR, I hit a few buckets of balls, I checked in with my dad and my lawyer, I read through the Sunday edition of the Star Tribune, that kind of stuff. Just relaxed.

I also let my wife and her friends take our tickets to the Tiger Oak Metropolitan Magazine party at the Walker. I really like these kind of events because I can go to see shows or exhibits without having to deal with all the regular people who go to that stuff. And it's better than a fundraiser because you don't get harped on for a donation. My wife loves them, too, because her and her friends don't have to worry about talking about the paintings because everyone who goes doesn't know anything about paintings and are just there to drink and look cool. But that's how they relax. And we all need to relax sometimes.

Friday, July 13, 2007

I See How It's Gonig to Be

You've probably heard by now that the writers guild voted to not vote on "no confidence". Nope. They're going to wait to vote that I should resign.

Fine. Go ahead. See what difference it will make.

Did you read Lambert today? Everyday with this guy. He said Singleton has spent 3 mill suing me. What a fucker. It's cost almost htat much for Avista, too. When my civil trial end, you can bet we're going to counter sue that bastard for every penny we lost. And we're going to get it back, too. You'll see. Avista isn't going to loose that kind of money. Not a private equity group. I'm going to show returns. Even if the Stewards don't want me to, all of them.

What a fiaso. In our meeting today I told Chris we I should have just let someone else from management take that damn information and had soeone else void the non-competes. Breach of ethics. This is business! I told Barrett that too tonight when we were out for drinkss. CEOs can't catch a break man. I'm telling you.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Excel Tip

I found out this awesome trick in Excel. Check it:

If you get a workbook from someone, you can figure out what formulas they used by selecting all the cells (ctrl+A), then going to "Edit - GoTo - Special". There you click "Formulas" and "ok" and this selects the cells with formulas. You can now make those cells have red or bold font! If you click the backwards apostrophe (under the tilde), it will even show all the actual formulas.

Here's where it gets crazy. If you go to "Tools - Formula Auditing" and click "Trace Precedents", Excel will draw a blue line from all the input data cells to the destination cell, even if the input data is from a different workbook!

Now you know how the formulas work in your new workbook of data.

Newspaper Manager Extraordinaire

Does Lambert even know what he's complaining about anymore? It's like this guy makes a living off of bitching about what I say at work and what I do in my personal life. No wonder he's not an actual reporter anymore.

Hey buddy, let me clarify something. I'm running a newspaper. And that paper needs a direction. We can either keep up with national coverage or we can go more local. Looking at the marketplace, the only time there's local coverage is when there's an apartment fire or sex abuse story or Prince has a concert. We're going to change that at the Star Tribune. Advertisers and readers will know who's reading the Star Tribune. It's the people in Minnesota.

Maybe you already forgot your post complaining about not enough coverage of Bloomington, you know, Minnesota's fifth largest city, or when you say we take too many AP pieces. But if you want to think covering local events gives a free pass to the President, whatever man. The few people who read your internet column probably think your conspiracy theory is true.

While you keep bitching, my remaining staff are going to cover all of the events in the state, even if it means extra hours for the reporters and editors. How's that for business literacy?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Wall Street Tribune

Hey, did you hear about Murdoch trying to buy the Wall Street Journal? I'm sure our paper ran an AP piece on it. Well now someone else is trying to buy the paper right out from under Murdoch. Supermarket billionaire Ron Burkle and Web entrepreneur Brad Greenspan might combine capital to top Murdoch's offer of 5 bill, which is a damn good offer because it's $60 a share/ 65% premium.

It's a little weird to think of a supermarket operator buying a newspaper. That's like the Lunds buying our paper, which would be really weird. But buying a newspaper is a good investment. Just ask Avista.

Guess what reporters are doing while money makers fight to make their paper more money. Not showing up for work. What is with these people! It's like they want their businesses to perform poorly. I can tell you right now that as soon as either Murdoch or Burkle and Greenspan take over, they're going to see just how many of these people they want to bring with them on the bus. That's the first step in going from good to great. I know it and those guys know it. Not showing up for work really sends a clear message on whether reporters want on that bus or not.

Publisher Is Higher Up Than VP

Okay, here's something funny for you. My wife can't stop talking about the things her and the designer have picked out for Paul Magers house that I just bought. Curtains, blah, blah, blah, sage brush, blah, blah, granite something, whatever. It can get on my nerves, especially after an entire day of meetings. The last thing I want is a meeting with my wife about decorating. But that's not what's funny.

I left the house to grab a beer at the OC with some friends of mine and while we were drinking, some guy came up to us and asked me if I was related to Kevin McHale because I looked like him!

Here's what Kevin McHale looks like, sitting next to Bird:

Can you believe that? Jeff told that guy that he could see what he meant, but McHale is way taller than I am. I mean, come on. I told him that I was the publisher of the Star Tribune and he sounded pretty impressed. He also bought my next Amstel Light for my trouble. If I see McHale at an event, I'm going to tell him that story. He'll love it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Grind

Man, all I did today was go to meetings. And lunch. Seriously, you would not believe how many meetings I have to go to in a day. I have to touch base with my lawyers about the trial. I have to meet with people from Avista and people from the board. I have to go to some downer meeting with someone from the newsroom like Gillespie. All day long, meetings. I can't wait until things settle in and I can go back to crunching numbers and strategizing for the paper.

Maybe tomorrow I'll have my assistant schedule a haircut for the afternoon to break up the day.
Yesterday Lambert wrote another attack piece on me. He thinks the Writer's Guild is going to have a vote of no confidence in me as publisher. Yeah right. Lambert must not read this blog. Avista, the people who own the paper that employs the Writer's Guild, have full confidence in me. Even though hacks with columns on the internet don't want the Star Tribune to make money, Avista does. That's why they hired me. So grow up, people. Let's get back to business. The President isn't going to get impeached and neither am I.

Oh, and speaking of business, what's this about Singleton wanting my head on a spike? I say we let the quarterly numbers do the talking. Unless Singleton can't stand that heat. There should be a vote of no confidence in Dean Singleton. He owns 57 papers and only comes to town to when it's time to sue someone. What a jerk. If he wants to step up, we'll see who's head goes on a spike.

Monday, July 9, 2007

One Night With Paris

Last week my wife was watching Paris Hilton on Larry King, because she had recorded it on the DVR. Larry King is great. Nobody does an interview better than him. He even made it interesting without playing clips of that weird porno tape she made.

My wife made a good point about Paris. People just don't understand how difficult it can be to be raised wealth-conscious like I was. We make little mistakes that other people don't. Paris has made a few mistakes. Okay, Paris has made a lot of mistakes, but not all of them were terrible.

The reason I'm telling this story is this. Someone from management who's on my side sent me an email that had been going around the newsroom. The email had quotes from Paris and quotes from me. Like, trying to say that I was as stupid as Paris.

I'll show you part of it so you can see how dumb it is:

"I've never done drugs." - Par(is)

"I didn't use data to hurt PiPress." - Par

"It really baffles me sometimes when I read things." - Par(is)

"Revenue has been declining since 2004 and we need to respond to that reality." - Par

"I didn't plan on using the Pioneer Press financials." - Par

"I don't want to cause a whole media circus." - Par(is)

"I should have been more sensitive to that." - Par

"I consider myself normal." -Par(is)

Nice try fellas. But I could take any sentence that you have said and make it sound stupid, too. Everyone makes mistakes, but we only get in trouble because of the public spotlight. If I could have a mulligan on those ad sheets and non-competes, I'd tell people flat out that I was taking them. Then it wouldn't have been such a fucking scandal.

Paris also said, "I did my time." Having to go through this trial is like doing time. But when my lawyers settle, I'll be free again, too.

I Also Like The Word 'Nemesis'

All these newspaper articles keep referring to me as a "scion." At first I thought it was the same word that my cable-tv-watching kids call me (and then giggle), but that turned out to be something different. So I finally looked it up and it pretty much means I've got excellence running in my blood. Check it for yourself, I'm a scion.

Full Confidence

“Par Ridder maintains our confidence going forward,” Mr. Kwon said.

That's right, baby. Guess where that quote comes from? Today's New York Times article on my civil trial. I think I come out pretty good in it. But do you know who doesn't? Singleton, that fool. That's what he gets for suing me and the big dogs.

The facts are out. Read them. I didn't do anything illegal. Read what Carr says -- what I did was take the hard work I'd done at my old job and brought it over to my new job. Coke and Pepsi battle all the time. Case closed.

Hopefully this trial will end soon so I can get back to watching that bottom line.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Prince at Macy's

Can you believe how many people waited outside for tickets to see Prince at First Avenue? Those people must be crazy. Didn't they know how hot it was? Or how unsafe it is in downtown Minneapolis, especially by Block E?

If you like Prince so much, why wouldn't you buy good tickets to the Target Center? Or even better, why not go to the release of Prince's cologne at Macy's? At Macy's you could get Prince's cologne and see him perform!

I had tickets to yesterday's Prince concert at Macy's. But I had to skip it. Some friends and I had a late dinner planned by the pool with some friends. And it's a good thing I skipped it. Prince didn't start on time, played more songs than he was supposed to, and the show went late. What kind of respect is that for people who paid top dollar for those tickets?

Monday, July 2, 2007

Vitamn: Swimsuit Edition

You've gotta check out the newest edition of our paper's freebie, Vitamn. It's full of models in swimsuits. I'd have to say that my favorite is the dark haired girl in the blue bikini. Man, she is hot. She's even hotter than the super tan chick with the short dress on. Did you know we're sponsoring swimsuit shows at the Calhoun Beach Club? That's where these pictures were taken. Yeah, Calhoun isn't top notch, but still, hanging out by a pool and getting front row seats to watch swimsuit models kicks ass. Being a publisher isn't all work all the time.

The new issue also an article about a new bar downtown. A whole paper of drinks and models in swimsuits. Why aren't we charging for this? There's even a column on sex! I'm going to talk to some people and see if we can't get moved over to the Tribune side.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Even after I defended Parry, she still had to go survey the newsroom to find out some bad things to say about me. Thanks Kate! Sometimes I wonder if my staff thinks I don't read my own paper. Hey folks, it's not my fault Singleton sued me! He's the one suing us, remember?

After we win this civil trial, we should almost counter-sue Singleton for damages. Parry's column is proof that the lawsuit has hurt our ability to make money. Also, it's not really helpful when your troops aren't behind you 100%. And it sounds like this lawsuit is really getting to the rank-and-file.

But whatever. That Bill Ward guy is right. You've got to put distractions behind you. That's why some friends and I are going to grab a drink at Biella after work and then spend some time on the water.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Another Soucheray Attack

Yesterday Joe Soucheray wrote another attack on me. He called me and some management people "bottled water" people. "The Mayor of Garage Town" or whatever he's called also says I should stay in Minneapolis because my management team and I didn't bring anything to the Pioneer Press. That's what I'd expect from a columnist who should star on one of those network sitcoms about "regular guys".

What a jerk. Maybe if Soucheray worked out a little more and drank a little more water, he wouldn't be a dead wood columnist that only tells personal stories or re-hashes old news for his column and his radio show. And maybe if Soucheray and his "newspaper guys" did a better job listening to me and the management, their industry wouldn't be in such trouble.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Back Fire

Lambert's attack column today back fired on him.

Look at what he says I did at the Pioneer Press: "reorganized", "right-sized", and cut overhead costs on the "labor line". Exactly. Those words might sound too professional to Lambert, but it's the job of a publisher to captain the company's ship. Being a captain means making sure the ship sails as well as it can. Being a captain means sometimes you have to cut some crew. Those thing are not easy to do, but that's why it's important to have a good captain.

It's also not easy to have your ship change owners. If your paper gets new ownership, it takes more effort to direct your crew. It should be obvious that's why I received the extra $600,000 payment. It's for, as my contract says, the sale of the company and the "adverse effects" of the new management. It's for the extra effort of running the changed ship.

The status quo wasn't going to work for McClatchy. My management team and I had to tighten our belts and the ship's sails. That's why we pursued disciplinary action against reporters who had ethics violations and discipline issues like attending a Bruce Springsteen concert. Having reporters argue with management might seem like a good idea to Lambert, but insubordination to cutting costs and crew is not productive for a paper.

Ganging Up on Me

Brian Lambert had to bring in re-enforcements for his daily attack on me yesterday. Ron Rosenbaum from KSPT called my testimony lies and called me stupid. Thanks guys. I'm testifying in a trial right now and it doesn't help to have journalist hacks call me names.

Both Lambert and Rosenbaum wanted to know why Avista hasn't fired me yet. I'll tell you why. It's because the organization needs a good publisher. And I'm that publisher. That's why I was brought over from the Pioneer Press. And that's why I brought over the last few years of data from that newspaper to my new job. Was it illegal? Of course not! It was being prepared for my new job!

And if Lambert or Rosenbaum or whoever think I got my new job as publisher just because my parents are close to Avista, you're wrong.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Dinner Table Debate

Last night my wife and I were arguing about work. She started calling Kate Parry names, and I told her to cut it out. Kate's no genius, but she's also not a "retard". Then my wife brought up the fact that I've called Singleton a retard on more than a few occasions. It's like I was still at the trial.

I said, look, honey, Kate and Singleton couldn't be any more apples and oranges. Apples and oranges. Singleton's more than a retard, he's like a grade-A douchebag. Everyone knows it. No one at the Pioneer Press even knows the guy because he's not around. And like my wife knows.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Jerks on the Internet

Some people on internet website called MNSpeak made some pictures of me in an orange jumpsuit. First hacks like Lambert harp on me, now I've got internet geeks messing with my picture.

I talked to one of our family lawyers about sending the website operator a cease and desist letter, but he didn't think it would work. I thought it would because the picture isn't accurate. Hey internet geeks, the trial isn't for me to go to jail! It to prevent me from working at the Star Tribune, you jackasses.

My lawyer also suggested that I contact the Bartels. They run the site and my lawyer told me that the dad bought the site and gave it to his son to operate. So maybe they'll hear me out. But probably not. That's fine, if you're going to be at the top, you've got to deal with the spotlight. And people get jealous. I bet Kevin Garnett knows what I'm talking about.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Fogo de Chao

There is a new restaurant in downtown Minneapolis that has great food, if you like meat. It's called Fogo de Chao and it's a Brazilian steak house. Yeah, you have to go downtown, but it's worth it. The waiters walk around with different kinds of grilled meats and you get to choose which kinds of meat you'd like to eat. It's like dim sum, if you know what that is. Fogo de Chao also has waitresses who are kind of hot, but not Brazilian models, that's for sure.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

My New Digs

Paul Schmelzer starts in on the house I bought. How many of these internet bloggers are there? They should get jobs at real newspapers and cover real news, instead of waging class war on me.

I'm the publisher of the Star Tribune. If I don't look successful, how will the company look? You can't buy a house that conveys success over night. I was looking at that house before the new management of the Star Tribune had to trim a bunch of employees for the good of the company. Buying Paul Magers's house shows success and so does a solid bottom line at the paper.

I doubt Paul Magers from KARE11 caught as much criticism when he owned the home. It was Magers that added the golf simulator, not me. Did anyone complain then? Schmelzer also mentions the taxes on the property. That's not the only hard part about owning that house. I'd tell you how much it costs to run the air conditioning, but it would be something else for Lambert to complain about.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Earning My Salary

It's not easy being the manager of a major Minnesota paper. There's a lot of scrutiny. Reporters like to think they know everything about running a big business. They also like to report on me instead of reporting on the news.

Here's a blog report from the City Pages. It really an attack on me by reporter Mike Mosedale. He tells everyone how much I make, which is fine. I want people to know how much I make. But I also want people to know how hard it is to earn that much.

Working my way up from an account manager at the Washington Post to publisher in California to the publisher position at the Pioneer Press and then to the publisher position at the Star Tribune has not been easy. I didn't get the positions just because my dad is CEO and chairman of Knight Ridder, the company that owned and sold the Pioneer Press. It's because I've got experience, I'm from a publishing family, and I know how to publish a newspaper.

Making sure a major paper works as a business takes a lot of time and talent. And that's why I make as much as I do. Also, getting my start in newspaper advertising, I know about bringing in money to a newspaper. You've got to spend money to make money. And you've got to spend money on a good publisher to have a great paper.

That's what I'm building at the Star Tribune, a great paper.