McClatchy to Buy Knight Ridder

Posted on March 13, 2006

The Free Internet Press reports that the McClatchy Company has acquired Knight Ridder, the 2nd largest U.S. newspaper company, for $4.5 billion. McClatchy says they will now have a combined daily circulation of 3.2 million.
Knight Ridder, the second-largest newspaper company in the United States, has agreed to sell itself for about $4.5 billion in cash and stock to the McClatchy Company, a publisher half its size, the two companies announced today.

The combined company plans to sell 12 Knight-Ridder papers, including both its papers in Philadelphia - The Inquirer and the Daily News - along with The San Jose Mercury News in California, Gary Pruitt, McClatchy's chairman and chief executive, said in an interview.

"I regret that we'll be selling them and that the employees have to go through another period of uncertainty," he said. "But we had to be clear-eyed about this and apply our longstanding acquisition criteria," the pillar of which is to go into high-growth markets.

Pruitt said the company would keep 20 other Knight-Ridder papers, including The Miami Herald, The Fort-Worth Star-Telegram and The Charlotte Observer in North Carolina. He said the expanded company would have 32 daily papers with a combined daily circulation of 3.2 million.
This is huge news for the newspaper industry. Media analysts will be watching for any layoffs as a result of the merger and tracking what happens to the twelve newspapers McClatchy now plans to sell.