MediaNews Group, headed by Dean Singleton (left), says that a delay in its purchase of the Mercury News, Contra Costa Times and other former Knight Ridder newspapers may jeopardize its ability to complete financing for acquiring the newspapers, according to a report in today’s Mercury News. The newspapers are currently in the hands of McClatchy Co., which bought Knight Ridder but decided to sell 12 of its 32 dailies to reduce its debt, including the Merc, CCTimes, Monterey Herald and St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press. MediaNews said in court papers: “Simply put, the newspapers will languish under temporary ownership.” A federal judge will decide tomorrow whether to issue Clint Reilly’s request to delay the sale. (See item below.)

SF Press Club News

One Comment

  1. Maybe if McClatchy had put these papers up for open bidding as Mr. Pruitt said he would they could have closed earlier and still brought a good price. These were the supposed goals Pruitt had stated in divesting the papers he didn’t want. There were many who wanted the opportunity to bid, including ValueMedia and local interests that had the money and no anti-trust problems.
    This backroom deal, (which keeps Tony R’s son with a job), becomes more foul smelling everyday. The California papers aside, the fact that McClatchy is picking their own competitor in St. Paul and picks the only major newspaper company to LOSE money in the first quarter of ’06 adds to the stench. If they wanted to make a private sale without bids that’s just fine, but don’t cry when your convoluted good ol’ boys deal gets scrutinized.

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