Kicking off an auction that could last several months, McClatchy Co. says it has received offers for the 12 newspapers it doesn’t want to keep after acquiring Knight Ridder. MediaNews (the company headed by Dean Singleton that owns the Oakland Tribune, Marin Independent Journal and San Mateo County Times among other Bay Area papers) would not say if made a bid for the Knight Ridder papers, according to the AP. A company spokesman would only say that MediaNews was talking with investment bankers throughout the day and that the situation was “very fluid.” KR papers up for grabs locally include the San Jose Mercury News, Contra Costa Times, Palo Alto Daily News Group and Monterey Herald. The Newspaper Guild, backed by supermarket magnate Ron Burkle (who frequently uses UAE funds to make acquisitions) also bid, along with housing developer Toll Brothers, which wants KR’s Philadelphia newspapers. Gannett would not say if it bid for any of the papers.