McClatchy Co. Sells 5 Newspapers

McClatchy Co. said Wednesday that it has reached agreements to sell five of the six remaining Knight Ridder newspapers it plans to divest for about $450 million.

The newspapers are the Akron Beacon Journal in Ohio; Duluth News Tribune in Minnesota; Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota; The Fort Wayne News-Sentinel in Indiana and the American News in Aberdeen, S.D.

The Akron paper was the largest of the former Knight Ridder papers remaining for sale. It was bought by Sound Publishing Holdings Inc., a subsidiary of Black Press Ltd., a private company based in Victoria, British Columbia in Canada.

McClatchy said it sold the News-Sentinel to Ogden Newspapers; the Duluth News Tribune and the Grand Forks Herald to Forum Communications Co.; and the Aberdeen American News to Schurz Communications Inc.

Financial terms were not disclosed for any of the deals.

That leaves the Times Leader of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., remaining to be sold. McClatchy has already announced the sale of six other larger newspapers owned by Knight Ridder Inc., including The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Sacramento, Calif.-based McClatchy said in March that it planned to buy Knight Ridder for $4.5 billion plus the assumption of about $2 billion in debt, but said it planned to keep only 20 of Knight Ridder's 32 newspapers, selling the other 12. Most didn't fit McClatchy's criteria of being located in growing markets.


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