In a surprising revelation, the Mercury News is reporting tonight (Feb. 10) on its web site that Knight Ridder’s articles of incorporation require a buyer of the company to win 80 percent of shareholder votes unless the board of directors finds that a new owner would maintain Knight Ridder’s “journalistic excellence.” The 10th article of incorporation says the board must form an panel of “experts in the field of newspaper journalism and who have no material relationship (through employment, stock ownership or otherwise) with the corporation” to review a winning bidder. However, the panel’s findings are not binding on the board. It’s unknown why the provision hadn’t been mentioned previously by the company, now that the sale process is well underway.
KR buyer must meet journalistic test
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