Monday, March 13, 2006

A Charlotte-Raleigh media axis in the works?

The $6.5 billion purchase of Knight Ridder Inc. by McClatchy Company will place the Carolina's three largest newspapers in the same family. The Charlotte Observer and Columbia's The State will join Raleigh's News and Observer in the McClatchy chain. The Myrtle Beach Sun Times will also be owned by McClatchy. Currently the CO ranks sixth in circulation out of Knight Ridder's 32 newsapers, while The State is tenth.

Observer editor Rick Thames says he looks forward to working with his Capital City rival:

"When you look at Raleigh and you look at Charlotte, there's so much that each of us does in ways that we don't compete, to be able to assist each other in those areas, I'm looking forward to that," said Thames, who added that McClatchy vice president for news Howard Weaver echoed Pruitt's vow of no layoffs in a Monday telephone conversation.

BTW, the new McClatchy will tilt toward the Sunbelt as 12 KR publications will not stay with the company. These papers are located in cities not considered as growing markets and includes the largest-circulation KR sheet, the Philadelphia Inquirer. The other newspapers McClatchy intends to sell are the Philadelphia Daily News, the San Jose Mercury News, the Contra Costa (Calif.) Times, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Fort Wayne (Ind.) News-Sentinel, the Monterey (Calif.) Herald, the Duluth (Minn.) News Tribune, the Akron Beacon Journal, the Wilkes-Barre (Pa.) Times Leader, the Aberdeen (S.D.) American News and the Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald.

McClatchy will hang onto bigshots the Miami Herald, Kansas City Star and Fort Worth Star-Telgram. McClatchy currently owns the Sacramento Bee, the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the Rock Hill Herald among others.

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