Star Tribune and MPR Alumni Launching ‘Progressive News Site’ in Minnesota


A group of former reporters for The Star Tribune and Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) are in the process of launching a “soon-to-be-announced progressive news site” based in Minnesota.

It’s still unclear when the new publication will go live and what it will be called, but a handful of Star Tribune and MPR alumni have announced on Twitter in recent weeks that they are joining the team.

J. Patrick Coolican, who left The Star Tribune in November, will serve as the editor of the new progressive outlet, according to his Twitter bio.

The new outlet is part of the States Newsroom group, which owns nine affiliate publications across the country and supports three partner publications with grants. Chris Fitzsimon, the director and publisher of States Newsroom, previously worked as the director of Common Sense Foundation, a progressive think tank based out of Raleigh, North Carolina. He was also a spokesperson, speech writer, and policy adviser for Democratic North Carolina State Sen. Dan Blue, who was the speaker of the North Carolina House from 1991 to 1994.

The organization’s ethics policy describes the company as a “network of nonprofit, nonpartisan news outlets focused on coverage of state government and public policy.”

States Newsroom has already launched outlets in other key Midwest states such as Michigan Advance, Ohio Capital Journal, and Wisconsin Examiner.

So far, a team of three reporters have announced that they will join Coolican on the new Minnesota venture.

“I’m excited to share that I’m returning to my beloved Minnesota tundra as senior political reporter with a soon-to-be-launched States Newsroom outlet dedicated to relentless Capitol coverage and enterprise work,” said Ricardo Lopez, a former reporter for The Star Tribune.

Max Nesterak, currently a reporter for MPR, also plans to join the team, he said on Twitter.

“Some news: I’m super jazzed to share that I’ll be joining a soon-to-be-launched States Newsroom outlet dedicated to Capitol coverage in Minnesota,” added Rilyn Eischens, a former reporter with The Star Tribune.

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “J. Patrick Coolican” by The Star Tribune. Background Photo “Newsroom” by anthony_mayfield. CC BY 2.0.







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