McClatchy chief executive Gary Pruitt has been getting some angry emails about his decision to buy Knight Ridder and sell 12 of its papers, including those in the Bay Area. The emails have been coming from employees at those papers which are being spun off, according to a story in today’s (March 20) Sacramento Bee by Dale Kasler. “The spinoff scenario brought Pruitt some of his worst moments of his chaotic week,” Kasler wrote. “Employees at the 12 papers, who looked to McClatchy as a white knight devoted to quality journalism, peppered Pruitt with angry e-mails when they learned McClatchy wasn’t keeping them, he said.” Pruitt told Kasler: “I got some very nice and some nasty things said about me … You get to the point where you can’t let either of those things affect you.” The thrust of the story is that Pruitt still has to convince investors that buying Knight Ridder was a good idea, although Bruce Sherman, the investment banker who forced Knight Ridder to sell, endorsed the deal. McClatchy stock fell 7 percent last week during a period when the overall stock market hit new highs. As for selling the 12 KR papers, Pruitt said he has received an “outpouring of interest” from potential buyers. [Letter to Romenesko: Get Warren Buffet to buy the 12 KR papers] [

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