Despite pressure by investors to increase its stock price, Knight Ridder shares fell 2% today on news that the company’s profits declined 22% in the fourth quarter. Revenues increased 3.1% during the quarter to $819 million, but that number included newspapers Knight Ridder acquired during the year. Comparing the same papers in 04 and 05, total revenues would have fallen 0.2% in Q4. CEO Tony Ridder, in a conference call with financial analysts today, refused to talk about his efforts to sell the newspaper chain, which owns the San Jose Mercury News, Palo Alto Daily News and other Bay Area newspapers. Ridder said in a press release, “Our weeklies, free dailies, shoppers and targeted print publications, in the aggregate, continued to show revenue increases in the double digits. During the year, the company added the Palo Alto Daily News Group of free daily newspapers (in the peninsula below San Francisco), the Silicon Valley Community Newspapers and two more community weeklies in Texas.” KR also reported that classified revenues increased 5.4% in San Jose in December compared to the same month in 2004, and that the paper’s total ad revenues that month were up 1.3%.

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