Knight Ridder Down in Circ, Too

By: Jennifer Saba Like other newspaper companies that have reported Q1 earnings this week, Knight Ridder this afternoon announced that its newspapers would see circulation decreases in the upcoming Fas-Fax report. ?It's not a story we like,? Tony Ridder, Knight Ridder's CEO, told analysts. ?But it's a reality.?

Daily circulation is down 1.8% and Sunday circulation dropped 2.2% for the six-month period ending March 2005.

Like other companies, Knight Ridder attributed the decline to a renewed a focus on home delivery and single-copy sales as opposed to the ?other paid? category.

Circulation revenue for Q1 was down 3.6% because of "increased discounting and decreased volume."

Other notable remarks to come out of the call: Knight Ridder may take the model of the newly acquired Palo Alto Daily News, a group of free daily papers that serve the area between San Jose, Calif., and San Francisco, to more markets. ?We may run with that idea in some other places,? said Ridder. ?We don't want to tip off our competitors.?

Nor would executives show their hand on the broadsheets slated for a tab conversion. Ridder explained the company will test the format with some home-delivered and single-sale copies.


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