Friday, March 10, 2006
McClatchy Makes Top Bid For Knight-Ridder
Wow. I'd rather that Knight-Ridder remain just as it is -- I don't want to risk seeing their excellent news organization dismembered -- but if it's going to be up for sale, This is really good news:
Knight Ridder is twice the size of McClatchy, but the latter has a history of buying bigger companies. Knight Ridder will not necessarily take the top offer but consider other factors. Some analysts have said that it would prefer to go with a company that produced, in its view, higher quality newspapers--if so, this might only confirm a McClatchy triumph.Indeed. McClatchy's known for putting out very good newspapers. Their flagship paper just happens to be the Minneapolis StarTribune, which is one of the best dailies in the nation, and which may have the best editorial staff of any major daily in the nation. If K-R is on the auction block, I'd much rather see McClatchy buying up K-R than, say, Cox. For one thing, McClatchy will at least try to keep Knight-Ridder intact, whereas any other group of possible buyers is going to immediately start hacking it up. Speaking of the Strib, they have an article on the proposed purchase here, and it deals pretty fairly with possible antitrust issues (K-R owns the daily paper in St. Paul, Minnesota's capital which is just across the Mississippi River from Minneapolis) and McClatchy's need to leverage itself to complete the deal. (Though frankly, as a former reader of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, I can tell you that the paper's been slashed so badly over the years, and has such a pathetic editorial staff -- they were one of the few K-R papers to endorse Bush in both 2000 and 2004 -- that they probably are going to fold in the next five years anyway, McClatchy or no.)
I'm not ready for an end to the printed press. Hopefully companies like McClatchey are showing there is a future.
More blogs about politics.