Star Tribune Partners with Minnesota Public Radio to Expand “Star Tribune Connect” Program, Providing Grants to Underrepresented Businesses

Oct 1, 2021

MINNEAPOLIS – Oct. 1, 2021 Star Tribune Media Co., Minnesota’s largest media company, today announced that it has expanded Star Tribune Connect, an innovative program to accelerate the growth of minority-owned businesses through advertising and marketing collaboration. Building on the success of the first year of Star Tribune Connect, the expansion is fueled, in part, by a partnership with Minnesota Public Radio, one of the largest media organizations in the Upper Midwest, reaching nearly 1 million listeners each week.

In 2022, Star Tribune Connect will award six qualifying Minnesota businesses a total of $330,000 ($55,000 each) in ad credits that can be applied toward marketing campaigns that leverage Star Tribune and MPR-owned properties (print, digital, broadcast, and events). Winners will also receive branded content related to their business in the Star Tribune and on MPR as well as access to other Star Tribune advertising and marketing services. The program is open to licensed businesses registered in the state of Minnesota that meet the state’s definition of minority-owned businesses.

“We’re heartened by the successes of our four Star Tribune Connect grant recipients in 2021 as they strengthened their businesses during a historically challenging period,” said Paul Kasbohm, chief revenue officer of Star Tribune. “We’re keenly aware that a healthy business climate must offer a hand to business owners who have been underrepresented, including communities of color, women, LGBTQ+ and persons with disabilities. Heading into the second year of our program, we’re delighted to welcome Minnesota Public Radio to our efforts to lift up businesses owned by underrepresented members of our community.”

“MPR is very proud to be an underwriting sponsor of such a worthy initiative,” said Duchesne Drew, president of Minnesota Public Radio. “We believe that providing marketing resources for business owners from underrepresented communities is an opportunity to create a more inclusive business environment. We look forward to celebrating and supporting the growth of minority-owned businesses in Minnesota through our partnership with the Star Tribune.”  

The Connect grant application period opens today and applications are being accepted until Oct. 31 at Grant recipients will be chosen by a panel drawn from the Star Tribune and MPR and will be announced in January 2022. The six grant recipients must spend their credits within calendar year 2022.


About Minnesota Public Radio
Minnesota Public Radio® (MPR®) operates a 46-station radio network serving almost all of Minnesota and parts of surrounding states for more than 50 years. A division of American Public Media Group, MPR reaches nearly 1 million listeners each week. MPR and its three regional services—MPR News, YourClassical MPR and The Current®—produce programming for radio, digital and live audiences. Programs produced by MPR’s national programming division, American Public Media® (APM), reach over 17 million listeners via approximately 1,000 public radio stations and around 400 commercial stations nationwide each week. APM is one of the largest producers and distributors of public radio programming in the world. APM Studios, a division of APM, produces award-winning podcasts spanning the best in investigative journalism, food, business and entertainment. For more information on MPR, visit

About Star Tribune Media Company
Star Tribune Media Company LLC is a locally owned, award-winning media company serving Minnesota and the upper Midwest. With the fourth-largest Sunday and fifth-largest daily circulation metro print newspaper in the U.S., the most-visited local website, a range of home-delivered advertising solutions, and a growing portfolio of events, Star Tribune reaches more consumers than any other Minnesota media brand. For more information, visit