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Knight Ridder buys South Bay weeklies

Knight Ridder is buying Silicon Valley Community Newspapers, which publishes eight weekly free-distribution newspapers in the South Bay area surrounding KR’s San Jose Mercury News.

The eight are: Los Gatos Weekly-Times, Saratoga News, Cupertino Courier, Sunnyvale Sun, Campbell Reporter, Willow Glen Resident, Rose Garden Resident and Almaden Resident. The group also includes the San Jose City Times, a legal newspaper, and a glossy publication called Image.

The newspapers are weekly publications with a combined circulation of more than 157,000. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

David Cohen, currently publisher and CEO of the group, who manages and operates the publications, will continue to do so for Knight Ridder. He will report to KR’s Greg Goff, vice president of speciality publications. The plan is to maintain the operations as they are now configured, Goff said.

“These weeklies have been serving readers for 20 years,” said Goff. “They provide saturation coverage of their respective areas in the South Bay and are a good fit with our Palo Alto Daily News Group of free dailies, which are located primarily in the Peninsula. We’re very pleased to be adding them to our company.”

Cohen said, “This was an easy decision, because I know that Knight Ridder is committed to continuing our high quality, fiercely local coverage. With the resources of Knight Ridder, we will be able to fulfill our vision of bringing our brand of community journalism to a greater audience.”

The oldest of the papers dates back more than 120 years. The weeklies provide coverage of local schools, youth sports, local government, business, law enforcement, features, opinions and community profiles.

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