Guild Calls on Officials to Probe MediaNews Deal for 4 Papers

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By: E&P Staff

The Newspaper Guild-Communications Workers of America on Thursday called on state and federal regulators to study the $1 billion sale of the San Jose Mercury News, Contra Costa Times, Monterey Herald and St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press to the MediaNews Group (with a boost from the Hearst Corp.)

“We believe that a common interest exists among McClatchy shareholders, employees and the communities served by the 12 Knight Ridder newspapers being sold by McClatchy Co.,” Guild President Linda Foley said in a statement. “TNG-CWA continues to believe that the bid by The Yucaipa Cos. for all 12 newspapers is likely to deliver the best value and we call on McClatchy Co. to provide evidence that shareholder, employee and community interests are being best served by yesterday’s announcement.”

McClatchy Co. has pegged the valuation of the deal, announced Wednesday, at 11.5 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization. The guild did not reveal the multiple its deal represents.

“The newspaper industry is already dominated by a small circle of ownership groups,” Foley added. “Yesterday’s news drew that circle even smaller.”

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