Joshua Chaffin and James Politi of the Financial Times of London report that Knight Ridder’s one-third interest in the recruiting Web site CareerBuilder.com could complicate a sale of the newspaper chain. CareerBuilder is owned by KR, Gannett and Tribune Co., and with revenues of $475 million last year (twice that of the Mercury News), it is considered to be a successful rival to Monster.com and Craigslist. However, the FT reports that the partnership agreement includes a change-of-control provision that gives the other partners the opportunity to buy out KR’s interest in the event of a sale. Since CareerBuilder is growing, thanks to “help wanted” ads shifting from newspapers to the web, it’s seen as a crucial part of KR. And without it, KR’s sale price could be much lower — bad news for local newspaper employees whose 401(k)s include a lot of KR stock.

SF Press Club News

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