It wasn’t exactly news for those following the sale of Knight Ridder, but the Mercury News is reporting tonight on its web site that company CEO and chairman Tony Ridder (pictured) won’t be bidding for the Merc or other Northern California KR papers being sold by McClatchy Co. As we said, this isn’t exactly news — on March 12, the AP said KR spokesman Polk Laffoon dismissed speculation that Ridder would bid for his old papers. And yesterday, the LA Times, in a story headlined “Silicon Valley Yawns at ‘Merc’ Fate,” reiterated the fact that Ridder wouldn’t bid. But the Merc story tonight says that Ridder, who was publisher of the Merc from 1977 to 1986, visited his old paper today (March 29) to tell employees in person that he wouldn’t be bidding. He said he made an effort to raise money for a bid when he heard that McClatchy, after it agreed to buy Knight Ridder, would be selling 12 of the chain’s 32 papers. But lawyers convinced him to drop his effort because, as chairman of KR, he would still have to make a number of important decisions before the sale closes. If Ridder tried to buy part of the company he would have to be shut out of that process. “I decided on the very, very strong advice to me to drop it. So I have.”

SF Press Club News

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