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Monday, March 13, 2006

Seattle Times’ minority owner, Knight-Ridder, Sold

Posted by on March 13 at 0:20 AM

Here’s the story on the $4.5 billion sale to the McClatchy Company.

Knight Ridder owned 49.5% of the voting common stock and 65% of the nonvoting common stock of Seattle Times Company.

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"Because Knight Ridder is so much larger than McClatchy, the merger is likely to create some upheaval for both companies. McClatchy could sell or close some of the Knight Ridder papers and could take further cost-control measures in its own newsrooms to help finance the deal. It was uncertain when the deal would be completed."

Maybe they'll sell off the Times? Blethen doesn't have the resources to buy his own paper back, does he? Gosh, maybe it's the TIMES that's in trouble...

If this goes through, McClatchy would own the dailies in Tacoma, Olympia, Bellingham and the Tri-Cities -- plus 49.5 percent of the Seattle Times.


Look out, Everett Herald.

For those convinced that newspapers are obsolete, the article mentions that McClatchey's overall profit margins are 10%, and that's considered poor performance in the newspaper biz. I know a lot of business people who'd be happy with that. They also paid a large premium over the share price, which is not something you see in a dying business.

Actually, I'm pretty sure the story said McClatchy's profits last year were 22%, not 10%.

Or am I missing something?

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