Rumor of Brisbane and Schneider Bid for Knight Ridder Batted Down

By: E&P Staff

In an article today, The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Joseph DiStefano debunks the rumor that Knight Ridder executives are teaming up to organize a bid for the company.

The theory that senior vice presidents Art Brisbane and Hilary Schneider — the presumed successors to Knight Ridder’s CEO Tony Ridder — were trying to round up backers was advanced yesterday in Los Angeles Times.

A spokesperson for Knight Ridder confirmed the Inquirer story.

He told E&P that the Los Angeles Times’ account was “‘bogus and nuts.”

Other rumors were floated in the press that Gannett — one of the strategic players purportedly interested in Knight Ridder — had pulled out of the process, at least for now. Tara Connell, a spokeswoman for Gannett, told the Inquirer the story was “‘ridiculous,'” but didn’t elaborate.

Though Knight Ridder won’t comment, the parties allegedly involved in the bidding process are several private equity firms including the Blackstone Group, Providence Equity Partners, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Thomas H. Lee Partners and the Texas Pacific Group.

In addition, several newspapers companies have been floated as potential buyers including McClatchy and MediaNews as well as the Newspaper Guild.

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