Wall Street Journal: McClatchy’s Minneapolis Sale Aids Web Efforts. One of the biggest believers in the newspaper field sold its largest paper yesterday, as McClatchy Co. agreed to sell the Minneapolis Star Tribune to private-equity firm Avista Capital Partners for $530 million. The price is less than half of what McClatchy paid for the paper in 1998, when it bought the Star Tribune from Cowles Media for $1.2 billion. The value of papers has declined as they face declining readership and a fragmented media environment.
Yes, there were some favorable tax consequences, as the story notes. And, yes, there’s some other logic to this deal.
But half the price of the original purchase? And no interest from other newspaper companies?
Those are signs of deepening malaise, or worse, in the newspaper business. I still own some McClatchy stock (residual holding from Knight Ridder shares I owned before the company was sold last year), and plan to keep them. But this sale is not the kind of news a shareholder likes to hear.