Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 1:17am
KNIGHT-RIDDER BUYOUT FEARS
[SOURCE: AlterNet, AUTHOR: Michael Stoll, Grade the News]
[Commentary] The sale of the Knight Ridder newspaper chain over the weekend, to a company that plans to resell three local titles, raises the possibility of an unprecedented concentration of ownership in the San Francisco Bay Area. MediaNews, which has a reputation for operating thinly staffed and minimally compensated news rooms, could come to dominate newspaper circulation in the region if allowed to add the San Jose Mercury News, Contra Costa Times, Monterey Herald, Palo Alto Daily News and its sibling papers, plus the weekly Silicon Valley Community Newspapers to its growing archipelago of dailies. That possibility so concerns employees of the papers that a counterproposal by the union, once considered a long shot, is now garnering a second look.
* Philly Locals Want Green Bay Packers-Style Ownership For 2 Papers
[SOURCE: Editor&Publisher, AUTHOR: Mark Fitzgerald]
A former high-powered Philadelphia advertising executive has received commitments "well in excess of $100 million" to buy The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Philadelphia Daily News in an ownership structure similar to the community-owned Green Bay Packers pro football team, he told E&P Wednesday.
BRAVE NEWS WORLD
[SOURCE: Wall Street Journal, AUTHOR: Gary Pruitt, Chairman and CEO of the McClatchy Company]
[Commentary] Last year, the world celebrated the 400th birthday of the newspaper. Those of us in the business also recognized it as the 399th anniversary of the first prediction of our demise. Speaking as someone whose company is writing a $6.5 billion check to triple its newspaper holdings, I beg to differ. To many, ink spread across newsprint pages seems old-fashioned and destined to disappear. This conventional wisdom has become so pervasive that you can buy the nation's second-largest newspaper group, Knight-Ridder, for a price that would have seemed an unimaginable bargain only a few years ago. But while that kind of thinking might be good for our company -- we were the buyer, after all -- it's wrong. The fact is, newspapers are still among the best media businesses -- and the most important. Even the biggest bears among newspaper analysts acknowledge that the companies still make good money. Their rap is that we're losing readers so fast that the good times can't last. But are we in a precipitous decline? The answer is no. Certainly, we've seen a gradual decline in the number of newspapers sold over a 40- or 50-year time-frame. More recently, circulation began dropping at a rate of 1% every year from 1990 to 2002. Certainly as a percentage of households, newspaper readership has fallen considerably. Meantime, total newspaper advertising volume peaked in 2000 and has slipped 4%, according to the Newspaper Association of America. However, no competitor in local markets has held onto audience as well as newspapers have. Others proliferate -- more TV channels, more radio stations, infinitely more Web sites -- but the number of daily papers stays steady. While we rarely face direct competition, our competitors see more all the time. When the Steelers faced off against the Seahawks in SuperBowl XL last month, 90.7 million people turned in, television's best day of the year. But on that Sunday -- indeed, on an average Sunday in 2004-2005 -- about 124 million people read the Sunday newspaper. Look at it this way: We won Super Sunday, 12-9.
* Don't stop the presses yet
[Commentary] The sale of Knight Ridder to a respected newspaper chain shows the industry still has legs - for now.
- Knight Ridder Chief Expresses His Regrets Over Deal to Sell Newspapers
- Newspaper Chain Agrees to a Sale for $4.5 Billion
- A Deal Is Said to Be Close for 2 Papers in Philadelphia
- 4 Knight Ridder Papers to Be Sold for $1 Billion
- Knight Ridder Papers Draw at Least 3 Bids
- Bay Area Democrats want closer look at MediaNews Deal
- Surprise! McClatchy Makes Top Bid for Knight Ridder
- Guild Complains: McClatchy Not Giving It Fair Shake on Buy Offer
- Feds ask More Time to Look at Sale of Four KR Papers
- MediaNews Likely Bidder for Former Knight Ridder Papers
- Newspapers seek to rebut lawsuit over sale of Mercury News
- McClatchy to Resell 12 Papers It's Buying
- McClatchy Completes Sale of 12 Orphan Knight Ridder Papers
- Are Papers About to Land or Take Off?
- Want to save local newspapers? Then break the chains that hold them back