The Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal was the proud, Pulitzer-winning flagship newspaper in John S. Knight’s (pictured) empire, that later became part of Knight Ridder. “We believe in profitability but do not sacrifice either principle or quality on the altar of the counting house,” said Knight once said. When Canadian David Black bought the paper for $165 million, he promised no layoffs or drastic cuts. Then a few weeks later, Black laid off 40 staffers — a quarter of the newsroom — and more are coming. The alt-weekly Cleveland Scene says the survivors are angry at the new owner and at Knight Ridder, which bled the paper for years. But Knight Ridder was the epitome of an old, lethargic company. “It became so bureaucratic,” says Deputy Metro Editor Dave Wilson. “There were too many committees, and committees always make bad choices.”

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