Silicon Valley has no shortage of billionaires, but none of them are interested in buying the San Jose Mercury News, the LA Times reports today. Today (March 28) is the deadline for bids for the 240,000-circulation newspaper. “In other cities where Knight Ridder papers are on the auction block, business leaders and politicians are scrambling to put together bids and return the publications to local ownership. But there appears to be no similar rush to keep ‘the Merc’ in local hands,” LA Times reporter Joseph Menn writes. Former Merc columnist Dan Gillmor suggested on his blog that Yahoo buy the paper, but he got little response. Woodside billionaire Larry Ellison could write a check for the paper, but isn’t interested, and neither are the other 18 billionaires in the Merc’s circulation area, Menn says. Knight Ridder chief executive Tony Ridder, who also lives in Woodside, has said he’s not going to bid. Not many local power brokers even read the “Newspaper of Silicon Valley” any more, said Jamis MacNiven, proprietor of Buck’s of Woodside, a restaurant where VCs make deals. “Nobody’s interested in buying the paper that I know of,” MacNiven told Menn. “It seems like yesterday’s news.” [Chron: Singleton likely to acquire KR papers in Bay Area] [LA Times: Syrian immigrant with a rags to riches story wants Monterey Herald] [Minneapolis Star Tribune: Tony Ridder’s son Par, now publisher of KR’s St. Paul paper, hopes to stay in newspaper business] [UPDATE 1:15 p.m. E&P: Guild says it submitted “competitive, aggressive” bid]

SF Press Club News

One Comment

  1. I hope the people at the merc understand that they have nobody else to blame but themselves for their predicament. It’s easy to say it’s wall street’s fault, but by any measure — circulation, journalism, sales — the merc has been headed downhill for years. At one time that paper had so much potential.

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