Star Tribune Media Company, owner of the fourth-largest daily circulation print newspaper in the U.S., the Star Tribune, has appointed Stephanie Ness from Target as its new finance lead and Chris Iles, previously associated with the Minnesota Twins baseball team as its Vice President of Brand and Communications. Their appointments will be effective from Nov. 27 and Dec. 4, respectively.
These appointments coincide with CEO and Publisher Steve Grove’s initiatives to navigate challenges faced by the company, aligned with broader industry changes in the face of digital news and social media evolution, leading to declining print revenue and slower digital subscription growth, as reported by the Star Tribune on Aug. 15.
Ness began her career in investment banking at Piper Jaffray, later transitioning to work briefly as an investment banking analyst at KPMG. Over the past 13 years, she has held various finance roles at Target, most recently serving as the company’s Chief of Staff and heading Financial Planning and Analysis.
The new hires join the company amid ongoing restructuring, notably with Chuck Brown, the long-time finance chief, retiring in August. Additionally, other senior executives like Chief Digital Officer Jim Bernard and Chief Marketing Officer and SVP of Circulation Steve Yaeger left the firm, marking significant changes. On the editorial side, new appointments were made, including Maria Reeve as the Managing Editor for daily news, along with several individuals assuming new roles.
Ness expressed her enthusiasm for assuming the CFO role in a recent LinkedIn post, emphasizing the personal significance of the newspaper in her life and her eagerness to contribute to its future.
Grove highlighted the wealth of leadership skills Ness and Iles bring to the company, citing Ness’s analytical expertise as instrumental in reshaping investments and structure to better serve Minnesotans. He also praised Iles’s decade-long experience in brand, communications, and innovation, essential for the transformation the Star Tribune aims to undergo.
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