Sunday, December 9, 2007

Par Ridder quits, MediaNews gets $5 million

Par Ridder, the 39-year-old son of former Knight Ridder chairman Tony Ridder of Woodside, has resigned as publisher of the Minneapolis Star Tribune and that paper has agreed to pay at least $5 million to settle a lawsuit brought by MediaNews over his hiring.

In March, the Star Tribune hired Ridder from the St. Paul Pioneer Press, which the Ridder family had run for several generations until it was sold in 2006 to MediaNews. Then MediaNews filed a lawsuit that accused Ridder of breaking a noncompete agreement, hiring Pioneer Press executives away from the paper in violation of other agreements and taking a laptop computer containing confidential Pioneer Press data.

In September, a judge removed Ridder from the job as publisher. On Friday Ridder formally resigned although he hadn't been at work since the judge's order in September. Both papers (Star Tribune, Pioneer Press) report the suit has been settled. Terms weren't fully disclosed although it was reported that the Star Tribune will pay MediaNews Group's legal fees, said to be about $5 million.

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