Another conglomerate who bought up newspapers. Prestige in owning Pulitzer Prize winning writers who work for your papers, will be a thing of the past soon. The Rocky Mountain News had four Pulitzers in the last few years. No prophylactic against anything, sadly.
We all know what it means, I think, when a company says ‘we don’t comment on that.’ Especially a news organization that’s supposed to be forthcoming about NEWS. As Holden Caulfield would say, fer Chrissakes.
By Richard Perez-Pena NYT, syndicated to Herald Tribune, Sarasota:
The McClatchy Co., burdened by debt and a steep slide in newspaper advertising, wants to sell one of its most prized properties, The Miami Herald, according to people briefed on the company’s plans.
McClatchy, the nation’s third-largest newspaper chain, has approached potential buyers for The Herald, said these people. But they said they knew of no serious offers for the paper, reflecting the evaporation of major investors’ interest in buying newspapers.
The company refused to discuss the matter. Elaine Lintecum, the treasurer, said, “We do not comment on market rumors.”
The Herald is one of the largest of McClatchy’s 30 daily papers, with daily circulation of 210,000. It is also arguably the most prestigious, having won 19 Pulitzer Prizes…
The people briefed on the company’s plans say that The Herald generates a very slim operating margin and that the most attractive part of any deal could be its prime waterfront real estate. But the Florida real estate market is in deep recession — one reason for the struggles of the newspaper, which used to benefit from heavy real estate advertising.
The bid to sell The Herald continues the fallout from McClatchy’s $4.5 billion purchase in 2006 of Knight Ridder, the newspaper chain that had owned the Miami paper. Largely as a result of that deal, one of the biggest in the industry’s history, the company has about $2 billion in debt, payments on which eat up much of its cash flow..
Part of the sad state here is that the employees of the Herald have likely heard about this pending move on the Internet this weekend, before they are formally gathered during a workday and told the entire situation affecting their futures. If so, that’s another kind of management failure altogether.