The beginning of the end

The Mating Sounds of Dinosaurs
#2 Newspaper Chain bites the dust 

This column has been predicting for years the end of large, daily newspapers, and no story or event can prove that assertion better than the fact that America's  second-largest chain is being forced to sell out by failing circulation and irrelevance to the marketplace.

Yesterday under growing pressure from big shareholders, Knight Ridder, the publisher of 32 newspapers including The Miami Herald and The Philadelphia Inquirer, is being forced to sell by pressure from its major shareholders who want to get their money out of this business dinosaur.

The meltdown began last week when Knight Ridder's largest shareholder, Private Capital Management, publicly urged the company’s sale because of “limited growth across the newspaper industry... continuing consolidation among the traditional sources of print advertising revenue and the redirection of advertising dollars to other media.” The next two largest shareholders quickly said they agreed.

What's different this time is that K-R is too big for the other big chains to swallow and may see its parts sold to local "would-be" publishers.

Read the story in today's New York Times story and BusinessWeek online

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