During a panel discussion in Seattle yesterday, newspaper chief executives Dean Singleton (left) and Gary Pruitt (right) dodged questions about the sale of Knight Ridder’s papers in Northern California. It’s believed that Singleton’s MediaNews is the front runner to buy the Northern California Knight Ridder papers that McClatchy’s Gary Pruitt doesn’t want to keep when he acquires KR on July 1. “Never have I seen so many people write so many things they didn’t know,” Singleton said. The New York Times noted that the negotiations between Singleton and Pruitt appeared to have been tense because the two men barely exchanged glances as they took their seats for a panel discussion at the annual meeting of the American Society of Newspaper Editors. Pete Carey of the Mercury News focused on the two men’s opinions about the internet. Singleton favors charging for information online but Pruitt said advertising should pay the way. “I don’t think it has to be charged. Broadcast did pretty well without charging,” Pruitt said.

SF Press Club News

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