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Knight Ridder to buy Daily News

Knight Ridder, the nation’s second-largest newspaper publisher, today (Feb. 15) purchased the Daily News Group of newspapers including the Palo Alto Daily News, San Mateo Daily News, Los Gatos Daily News, Redwood City Daily News and Burlingame Daily News.

Publishers Dave Price (left) and Jim Pavelich will continue to oversee the Daily News for Knight Ridder.

Price and Pavelich predict the acquisition will benefit readers of the Daily News, which was founded nine years ago.

“We see this as a win-win,” said Pavelich. “Knight Ridder’s resources will help us improve our news reporting and strengthen our customer relationships.”

“They came to us, and before selling, we researched what they had one in other cities,” said Price. “Every time they have acquired a newspaper, that paper improved in every area, from news to circulation, from advertising to printing. We’re happy to be working with them.”

The Daily News has helped develop the format of a free daily newspaper, a concept that has become increasingly popular in the newspaper industry in the past few years. Free dailies have opened in New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Dallas as well as many smaller towns.

By acquiring the Daily News, Knight Ridder has the people who have been behind the nation’s most successful free newspapers in terms of journalism and profitability.

The Daily News will continue to operate from its current offices in Palo Alto, San Mateo and Los Gatos.

The Palo Alto Daily News was founded Dec. 7, 1995 by Dave Danforth, Jim Pavelich and Dave Price, and the first issue was eight pages with a circulation of 3,000. The three owners hit the streets of Palo Alto and handed out the paper to anyone who would take a copy.

Within days, the paper was attracting readers and advertisers, and was in the black within 10 months.

In 2000, the Daily News expanded into San Mateo, Burlingame and Redwood City with daily newspapers for each of those cities. Initially those newspapers were headquartered in the basement of Dave Price’s home in San Mateo County, but the Daily News soon opened an office on El Camino Real in San Mateo.

In 2002, the Daily News expanded again by launching a Los Gatos newspaper. Like the other editions of the Daily News, it began with eight pages. It has now grown to between 24 and 56 pages per day.

Along the way, the Daily News has picked up numerous state and regional awards, including 21 Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards from the Peninsula Press Club last year alone. For the past two years, Price was the California Newspaper Publishers Association’s first-place winner for editorial writing among daily newspapers between 25,001 and 75,000 in circulation.

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