Ridder Crosses the River
Par Ridder, former Pioneer Press publisher and descendent of the St.Paul-synonomous Ridder family, took over as Star Tribune publisher and CEO Monday. The Ridder family has had ties to the Pioneer Press paper for 80 years; Par's grandfather was once the publisher and even Par's great-grandfather had ties to St.Paul and the paper. The job opened up only after J. Keith Moyer resigned as Star Tribune publisher after six years on the job. The Star Tribune also changed ownership; Avista purchased the paper from the McClatchy Co.
The Star Tribune ran a very simple article that reported what types of changes had occured within the organization. Ridder and Avista both expressed optimism for the future of the paper and a commitment to producing more locally relevant stories.
The Pioneer Press had a much differant take on this story. Columnist Joe Soucheray called the Star Tribune the "Enemy Paper" and basically called Ridder's switch treason. He said publishers were interchangeable and that they weren't really news guys. He wished Ridder luck in his new job, but only within reason. Obviously, the loss of Ridder is quite the blow to the Pioneer Press. More importantly then losing a publisher, the Pioneer Press lost a name. Ridder, The Pioneer Press, and St.Paul had become closely linked through the years. Losing Ridder from this equation is a blow to the Pioneer Press' reputation more then anything else.