Compare how newspaper workers in Minnesota are reacting to the sale of the Knight Ridder-owned St. Paul Pioneer Press to what’s happening here in the Bay Area, where four KR dailies are on the block. Locally, the San Jose Newspaper Guild has set up SavetheMerc.com and SavetheHerald.com web sites and encouraged local residents to sign online petitions. In the Twin Cities, the Guild set up a SavethePioneerPress.com web site, but didn’t stop there. Workers raised $42,000 to promote a union-friendly bid by billionaire Ron Burkle. The money will pay for newspaper ads to give the union’s position to the public and provide time off for employees who will conduct lobbying efforts. In addition, employees at the Pioneer Press held a rally yesterday that drew hundreds of people, according to the AP, including local politicians and even employees from the rival Minneapolis Star Tribune. The AP says Star Tribune journalists held signs saying, “Stribbers want competition.” McClatchy, which owns the Star Tribune, is buying the 32-paper Knight Ridder chain including KR’s Pioneer Press. McClatchy plans to sell 12 of the 32 Knight Ridder papers including the Pioneer Press, Mercury News, Contra Costa Times and Monterey Herald.

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