Star Tribune CEO wanted his old boss, Gov. Walz, to know he didn’t approve of cartoon

Immediately prior to his work at the newspaper, Steve Grove served as Gov. Walz's commissioner of the Department of Employment and Economic Development. (Office of Gov. Tim Walz/Flickr)

Star Tribune CEO Steve Grove reached out to Gov. Tim Walz’s administration to let the governor know that Grove did not approve of a cartoon that some described as “Islamophobic,” according to a recent story published by the Minnesota Reformer.

In 2023, Grove was officially named the CEO and publisher of the Star Tribune. Immediately prior to his work at the newspaper, Grove served as Gov. Walz’s commissioner of the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). Serving for four years in the governor’s administration, Grove had major influence over the state’s economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With Grove at the Star Tribune, Minnesota’s largest newspaper is now run by a man who used to call Tim Walz his “boss,” and it appears old habits die hard.

In April of 2023, the Star Tribune published an editorial cartoon after the City of Minneapolis officially allowed mosques to publicly broadcast the Islamic call to prayer. Grove issued a public apology for the cartoon after it attracted criticism, saying, “I’m sorry that the Star Tribune published it.”

According to the Minnesota Reformer, Grove also reached out to Gov. Walz’s chief of staff, Chris Schmitter, to ensure that the governor knew Grove did not approve of the cartoon.

Specifically, the Reformer reported that Grove texted Schmitter, saying: “Just as a heads up. If the Gov or (lieutenant governor) ask, would appreciate you letting them know, not as an excuse but as context, that I didn’t see or approve of that cartoon at all and thought it was very troubling and in horrible taste.”

Schmitter replied to Grove’s text: “I shared with them, thanks.”

In addition to the aforementioned exchange, the Reformer also reported that Grove texted Schmitter a few days after Gov. Walz’s 2023 State of the State address to compliment the governor’s speech.


Alpha News Staff
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