By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Philadelphia story

Two competing versions of the sale of the Knight Ridder newspaper chain to McClatchy Co.

First, from a New York Times story that, according to the home page, was updated at 7:33 a.m. today:

Analysts speculate that the company could shut down The Philadelphia Daily News and possibly sell The Inquirer, since the business climate in Philadelphia is sluggish and the papers face tough competition from a ring of suburban dailies. On the other hand, they say, The Inquirer generates a lot of cash, something McClatchy will need as it goes into debt to pay for Knight Ridder.

From a Wall Street Journal story stamped 7:38 a.m. today:

McClatchy, which is paying $67.25 a share for the rival publishing chain, plans to sell a dozen Knight Ridder newspapers, including the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and the San Jose Mercury News. McClatchy said those papers are located in cities that “do not fit the company’s longstanding acquisition criteria, chiefly involving growing markets.”

Based on this, at least, it looks like while the Times was speculating, the Journal was finding out what was really going on.

Catching up: From the Times’ 8:47 a.m. update:

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, according to the announcement. Knight-Ridder papers, including both its papers in Philadelphia, the Inquirer and the Daily News, along with The San Jose Mercury News, according to the announcement.


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6 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Not the first time that happened.

  2. Copy Editor

    “do not fit the company’s longstanding acquisition criteria, chiefly involving growing markets.”Clearly, McClatchy’s strategy doesn’t involve keeping good newspapers.

  3. Anonymous

    I think that comparison is a bit unfair.The Times’ speculation was in today’s edition — before the sale of the 12 papers was announced. The WSJ’s print edition didn’t have any info on the sale either.On the Internet, it looks like the WSJ was just quicker to update its story with the latest news. The NYT inserted the sale info by 8:47 a.m., if not earlier.

  4. Dan Kennedy

    Anon 9:28: The item was about their Web sites, not their paper editions, which is why I noted the update times. Damn straight the Journal was quicker to update its story.

  5. Anonymous

    Papers slated for divestiture by McClatchy are in SD,ND, Minn., Ohio, Penn., among others. If I were a younger journo, I’d brush up on my high-school Spanish at the very least. Demographic train is gaining momentum.

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