Colle McVoy Picked to Lead the Rebrand of the Star Tribune

By Kyle O'Brien 

The Star Tribune is in the midst of a rebrand, both as a brand and on the digital front, to become the news outlet for all of Minnesota.

The 157-year-old news organization is making significant investments, including naming Colle McVoy to lead its rebrand.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Colle McVoy as the Star Tribune embarks on branding work that is foundational to the future of our organization,” said Steve Grove, publisher and CEO of the Star Tribune in a statement. “Our local market is full of exceptional creative talent. The breadth and quality of Colle McVoy’s craft is only matched by its love for Minnesota. That’s what made them a perfect partner for this initiative.”


The agency’s remit is a complete reimagining of the Star Tribune’s tone of voice and how it visually represents itself. Even the name of the media outlet is up for discussion, as the 157-year-old institution seeks increased relevance with a statewide audience.

“Minnesota is our origin story, and we’re fiercely proud of our heritage. This initiative with the Star Tribune is about legacy—cementing the value of local journalism in our community for generations to come,” said Colle McVoy CEO Christine Fruechte, who has served as board chair and member of the Star Tribune’s board of directors for the last five years.

Colle McVoy’s boutique design firm, 10 Thousand Design, will also steward the redesign.

This is the first brand refresh since 2014 for the publication, which is targeted to launch in Q4 of this year.

According to Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, there are roughly 6,000 newspapers left in America, down from 8,891 in 2005. About half of all U.S. counties rely on a single remaining news source—and 6.4% of counties have no local outlets.

“We see massive opportunities to attract and retain new audiences throughout and beyond this next election cycle as people are more tuned in to what’s happening in media,” added Star Tribune vp of communication and brand marketing, Chris Iles in a statement. “This rebrand signals significant investments to grow for our current and future readers in an era when news media is shrinking.”

Colle McVoy is joined by fellow Stagwell network agency Code and Theory, which is handling a complementary digital product redesign.

“To make this happen and get the results we’re looking for we wanted partners who can finish each other’s sentences. We get that in having two agencies under the Stagwell umbrella working in lockstep,” noted Iles.

The refresh is part of a larger transformation happening at the Star Tribune, which is exploring novel content formats, in-person events and the role of AI in operations and reporting.

“Local media has a profound role to play in combatting trends of people feeling disconnected and the dwindling of third spaces,” added Iles. “We can be the great convener bringing people together to have the crucial conversations to push society forward.”