The process of selling the 12 Knight Ridder newspapers McClatchy doesn’t want will take longer than anticipated — perhaps as long as two months, according to the LA Times. The problem is that Billy Dean Singleton, head of MediaNews which owns eight dailies in the Bay Area and 40 across the country, has only bid on six of 12 KR papers for sale — San Jose, Contra Costa, Monterey, St. Paul and KR’s two Philadelphia papers. Gannett, which was assumed to be interested in at least some of the dailies, didn’t submit a bid. Local buyers have expressed an interest for the Contra Costa, Monterey, St. Paul and Philly. A union effort to buy the 12 papers, financed by supermarket magnate Ron Burkle and reportedly the United Arab Emirates, hasn’t gone far. Burkle’s Yucaipa Cos. sent a letter to McClatchy giving ranges of possible sale prices but said an offer would only come if they could see the books of the papers. So far, the books of the 12 papers were only opened to those who made bids in the first round for Knight Ridder. In addition, analyst John Morton has said that KR and McClatchy are reluctant to show the unions their financial data. [Chron: Feds look into purchase of KR papers]

SF Press Club News

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