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Saturday, June 2, 2007

Rybak's treatment by Strib on Par with others

Everyone in the local media knows that the place to go to get news on what's happening with at the Star Tribune is not the Strib's website, but on the Rake blog. Media watchdog Brian Lambert has been tenaciously covering the buyouts -- to the point where I'd be willing to bet that the Strib management wishes that he'd stop. In fact, the blog is turning out to be the one place Strib staffers can go to see if they still have a job.

I was getting my Rake fix yesterday, when I noticed something of interest to the legal community. Deborah Caulfield Rybak has decided to take a buyout and leave the Strib. As many in the legal community may recall, Rybak, among many other accomplishments, is one of the authors of "Smoked: The inside story of the Minnesota Tobacco Trial." She has also written for Minnesota Law and Politics, among other publications.

The Rake blog tells us that she was treated pretty abysmally in the process, which is detailed in "Rybak exits Star Tribune." The blog reports that right up until Friday's deadline for staffers to decide whether they would take the buyout, no one would tell Rybak what her status would be if she didn't. It's a pretty nasty piece of business and worth checking out. Ironically, Rybak provided a lot of the paper's coverage of the media. It may just be that Strib feels that with its scaling back of staff, along with that of its rival, the Pioneer Press, there will be nothing left of the local media worth covering. Unfortunately, that philosophy may be right.

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