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TURNSIGNALS

Newspaper dealing-McClatchy Co.'s purchase of Knight Ridder, the call for a Tribune Co. breakup by the Chandler family, owner of 12% of its stock-comes as the industry grapples to preserve a shrinking audience.

Source: Editor & Publisher data

For the first time, the average American will spend more time this year surfing the internet than reading newspapers, according to data from investment firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson.

2005-2009 = projections. 1. Age 18+. Excludes time spent on newspaper websites. 2. Age 12+. Source: American Demographics analysis of data from Veronis Suhler Stevenson's Communications Industry Forecast 2005-2009

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Focus on: MCCLATCHY CO. (MNI), KNIGHT RIDDER (KRI)

Knight Ridder investors vote today on a sale to smaller rival McClatchy. MNI on March 13 announced a deal to buy KRI for $4.6B in cash and stock. MNI has slumped since then, hitting a 52-week low June 23. The deal now is worth $4.2B (plus $2B in KRI debt). MNI, which had 12 dailies, is selling 12 of KRI's 32 dailies for $2B+. That will leave MNI with 32 dailies with 3.2M circ., a distant second to Gannett (90 dailies, 7.3M circ.).

MNI price $41.60

MNI 52-wk. high/low $68.40/$41.30

MNI all-time high (3/22/05) $76.05

KRI price $60.85

KRI 52-wk. high/low $68.73/$52.42

KRI all-time high (4/27/04) $80.00

MNI '05 rev./net income $1.2B/$161M

KRI '05 rev./income $3.0B/$471M

MNI '05 pro forma rev.2 $2.8B

1. Value over time of $100 invested in each stock at start of '90s; $100 invested 12/29/89 in Wilshire 5000 today = $367. 2. Assuming MNI had owned its final collection of 32 dailies since start of '05. Source: Bloomberg, company reports, Ad Age analysis

Last week's score submissions

GM rose on signs union workers would accept buyouts, aiding its restruc-turing. Univision fell as acquisition offers came in below expectations.

Submissions E-mail ideas for this column to bjohnson@crain.com
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