Knight Ridder’s board of directors has postponed “until a future date yet to be determined” the company’s annual meeting when major shareholders were planning to vote on a new slate of directors. The new directors would presumably replace the company’s management, including chief executive Tony Ridder (pictured). The meeting had been set for April 18. Word of the postponement came today (Feb. 2) in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Those documents also show the board voted to close any loopholes that might prevent top-level “key executives” from receiving three years of severance pay if the company is sold and they’re shown the door. Bruce Sherman of Private Capital Management, which owns 19 percent of Knight Ridder, warned in a Nov. 10 letter that if the board didn’t sell Knight Ridder through competitive bidding, PCM would “nominate a slate of directors for election by shareholders at the company’s 2006 annual meeting.” Sherman has the support of two other institutional shareholders. Together the three shareholders hold 36 percent of the company’s stock. [Editor & Publisher] [San Jose Business Journal] [E&P: Analysts speculate about KR sale]

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