Frank Ahrens of the Washington Post says that the breakup of Knight Ridder is sparking interest in the idea of taking newspapers private — out of the hands of Wall Street investors — and into the hands of local business people. McClatchy Co., spun off 12 of the 32 Knight Ridder papers that it bought. Eleven of the 12 were bought by private owners. Dean Singleton, whose MediaNews bought KR papers in the Bay Area and St. Paul, Minn., said that with private ownership, shareholders are off your back, which allows management to take risks.

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