McClatchey agrees to sell four of the newspapers it acquired from Knight Ridder

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Sacramento, Calif.—McClatchy Co. announced Wednesday that it has agreed to sell four of the newspapers it acquired last month from Knight Ridder. The combined deals are for a reported $1 billion in cash.

McClatchy agreed to sell the San Jose Mercury News and Contra Costa (Calif.) Times to MediaNews Group and a partnership that includes Gannett Co. and Stephens Group.

McClatchy agreed to sell The (Saint Paul, Minn.) Pioneer Press and The (Monterey County, Calif.) Herald to Hearst Corp.

In a separate agreement between Hearst and MediaNews, Hearst will swap the two newspapers it is buying for a stake in MediaNews’ newspapers outside the San Francisco Bay area. MediaNews will then put all four newspapers into the partnership with Gannett and Stephens, known as the California Newspaper Partnership.

With the deal, MediaNews will become the nation’s fourth-largest newspaper chain in terms of circulation. MediaNews will now have 53 dailies with a total circulation of 2.7 million and a Sunday circulation of 3 million.

McClatchy bought Knight Ridder in March for $4.5 billion. It said at the time that it would sell 12 of the 32 newspapers it acquired from Knight Ridder.

—Matthew Schwartz

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