McClatchy CEO Gary Pruitt explains why he purchased Knight Ridder in this CNBC interview this morning (March 13). While many commentators are predicting doom and gloom for newspapers, Pruitt tells CNBC that local newspapers still have a distinct advantage. He points out that competing mediums such as TV and radio are suffering from audience fragmentation, but local newspapers remain the last mass medium and typically the largest media company in their communities. And from that base, Pruitt said the plan is to launch a variety of speciality products, both online and print. At the end of the interview, Pruitt also promises that he won’t be laying off journalists, just executives in the corporate office. [McClatchy to merge D.C. bureau with KR’s, McClatchy’s Howard Weaver to run the office]

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