And So Begins The Remaking

Posted by: Jon Fine on March 13, 2006

McClatchy buys Knight Ridder; will immediately put 12 of Knight Ridder’s dailies up for sale. (Interestingly, one of the papers McClatchy will sell is the San Jose Mercury News—the former highflyer and erstwhile hometown daily for the chain.)

This even gives the unions a chance with this once-wishful bid to pick up papers they feared might get gutted in a sale.

In any event, look for a round of swaps and deals to remake the fabric of American newspaper ownership.

Meanwhile, McClatchy CEO Gary Pruitt just got a hell of a lot more famous. For good or ill, that is. Long a Wall Street darling at a smaller company, he’s now in the position where people will be watching him to see if he can actually, you know, save the American newspaper business as we know it.

We’re not saying that this enters “careful what you wish for” territory. But it could!

I have a column to finish writing this morning, but I expect to revisit this deal later today. UPDATE 7:54 PM: Hey—how about we amend the end of that last sentence to read “tomorrow morning”? UPDATE 1/14, 9:35 AM: Online story here.

 

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The media world continues to shapeshift as new forms arise and old assumptions erode. On this blog, Bloomberg Businessweek will provide sharp analysis and timely reports on the transformation of this constantly changing terrain.

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