Knight Ridder was the second-largest newspaper chain in the United States. It was bought by McClatchy in 2006.

Contact information
Knight Ridder
50 W. San Fernando St.
San Jose, CA 95113
  • Daily newspapers in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kansas City, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and South Dakota.
  • Weekly newspapers and other

Recent history[]


Jay Harris resigned as publisher of the San Jose Mercury News to protest budget cuts. [1]

  • Nov. 14 -- After pressure from investors, Knight Ridder announced it would "explore strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value, including a possible sale of the company."
  • Dec. 22 -- The Newspaper Guild announces that what it calls a "worker-friendly" buyout of selected KR newspapers is under consideration.
  • March 9 -- Bids were due.
  • March 13 -- McClatchy announces that it will buy Knight Ridder but sell 12 Knight Ridder papers.


Information from the company Web site on Dec. 9, 2005.

  • Pulitzer Prizes: 84, including 14 Gold Medals for Meritorious Public Service
  • Employs about 18,000 people.
  • 2004 revenue: $3.0 billion
  • 77 million shares of common stock held by approximately 7,800 shareholders of record.
  • Daily newspapers: 32 dailies in 29 U.S. markets, with 8.5 million readers daily and 11.0 million on Sunday.
  • Other papers include nondaily newspapers, shoppers and special publications.
  • Internet: Newspaper Web sites and manages the Real Cities Network of affiliated sites in more than 110 U.S. markets. Partial ownership in several classified ad-listings and shopping services sites.
  • Newsprint mills: Partial ownership in two.


For the unrelated television series, see Knight Rider.
File:Knight Ridder HQ.JPG

The Knight Ridder building in downtown San Jose, California.

Knight Ridder (Template:IPA2) was an American media company, specializing in newspaper and Internet publishing. Until it was bought by The McClatchy Company on June 27, 2006, it was the second-largest newspaper publisher in the United States, with 32 daily newspapers.


The corporate ancestors of Knight Ridder were Knight Newspapers, Inc. and Ridder Publications, Inc. The first company was founded by John S. Knight upon inheriting control of The Akron Beacon Journal from his father, Charles Landon Knight, in 1933; the second company was founded by Herman Ridder when he acquired the German language Staats-Zeitung newspaper in 1892. As anti-German sentiment increased between the two world wars, Ridder successfully transitioned into English language publishing by acquiring the Journal of Commerce in 1926.

Both companies went public in 1969 and merged in 1974. For a brief time, the combined company was the largest newspaper publisher in the United States.

Knight Ridder had a long history of innovation in technology. It was one of the first newspaper publishers to experiment with videotex when it launched its Viewtron system in 1982, was one of the first to actively develop newspaper content for America Online in 1993, and joined the ill-fated New Century Network project in 1994.

Its flagship newspaper, The San Jose Mercury News, was one of the first daily newspapers to regularly publish its full content to the World Wide Web. Around 2000, KR moved its headquarters from Miami to be closer to its rising star in San Jose (although it chose to rent a sleek downtown high-rise rather than build new office space).

Many argue that the quality of Knight Ridder newspapers had suffered in recent years as its president, Tony Ridder, cut staffs and budgets to achieve a profit margin of more than 20 percent.

In November of 2005, the company announced plans for "strategic initiatives," which involved the possible sale of the company. This came after major shareholders publicly said the company was worth less than the sum of its parts and urged management to put the company up for sale. The Newspaper Guild tried to work with an investment firm to take control of the Knight Ridder papers where it represented the journalists. Knight Ridder said it would only sell the company as a whole, not individual papers, and the Guild responded that if that happened, the investment group would try to buy some of the papers from the new owner.

On March 13, 2006, The McClatchy Company announced its agreement to purchase Knight Ridder for a purchase price of $6.5 billion in cash, stock and debt. The deal gave McClatchy 32 daily newspapers in 29 markets, with a total circulation of 3.3 million. However, for various reasons, McClatchy decided to immediately resell twelve of these papers. [2]

On April 26, 2006, it announced that the San Jose Mercury News, Contra Costa Times, Monterey Herald, and St. Paul Pioneer Press (for antitrust reasons) would be sold to MediaNews Group (with backing from the Hearst Corporation) for $1 billion. [3]

List of newspapers[]

Daily newspapers owned by Knight Ridder and its predecessors included:

  • American News (Aberdeen, South Dakota), 1928-2006
  • Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio), 1903-2006
  • Belleville News-Democrat (Belleville, Illinois), 1997-2006
  • The Bellingham Herald (Bellingham, Washington), 2005-2006
  • Sun Herald (Biloxi, Mississippi), 1986-2006
  • Boca Raton News (Boca Raton, Florida), 1969-1997
  • The Daily Camera (Boulder, Colorado), 1969-1997
  • The Herald (Bradenton) (Bradenton, Florida), 1973-2006
  • The Idaho Statesman (Boise, Idaho), 2005-2006
  • Chicago Daily News (Chicago, Illinois), 1944-1959
  • The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, North Carolina), 1955-2006
  • The State (Columbia, South Carolina), 1986-2006
  • Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (Columbus, Georgia), 1973-2006
  • Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, California), 1995-2006
  • Detroit Free Press (Detroit, Michigan, 1940-2005
  • Duluth News Tribune (Duluth, Minnesota), 1936-2006
  • Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Fort Worth, Texas), 1997-2006
  • The Post-Tribune (Gary, Indiana), 1966-1998
  • Grand Forks Herald (Grand Forks, North Dakota), 1929-2006
  • The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Missouri), 1997-2006
  • Lexington Herald-Leader (Lexington, Kentucky), 1973-2006
  • Long Beach Press-Telegram (Long Beach, California), 1952-1997
  • The Telegraph (Macon, Georgia), 1969-2006
  • The Miami Herald (Miami, Florida), 1937-2006
  • El Nuevo Herald (Miami, Florida), 1977-2006
  • The Herald (Monterey, California), 1997-2006
  • The Sun News (Myrtle Beach, South Carolina), 1986-2006
  • The News-Sentinel (Fort Wayne, Indiana), 1980-2006
  • The Olathe News (Olathe, Kansas), 2000-2006
  • The Olympian (Olympia, Washington), 2005-2006
  • Palo Alto Daily News (Palo Alto, California), 2005-2006
  • Pasadena Star-News (Pasadena, California), 1956-1989
  • Philadelphia Daily News (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), 1969-2006
  • The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), 1969-2006
  • Saint Paul Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minnesota), 1927-2006
  • San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, California), 1952-2006
  • The Tribune (San Luis Obispo, California), 1997-2006
  • Starkville Daily News (Starkville, Mississippi), 1986-1987
  • Centre Daily Times (State College, Pennsylvania), 1979-2006
  • Tallahassee Democrat (Tallahassee, Florida), 1965-2005
  • The Daily Times-Leader (West Point, Mississippi), 1986-1987
  • The Wichita Eagle (Wichita, Kansas), 1973-2006
  • The Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania), 1997-2006

Knight Ridder Owned Companies[]

A list of companies that were at one time or another owned by Knight Ridder:

  • Presslink - ??-1996, Later became MediaStream
  • MediaStream - 1996-2001, Acquired by NewsBank
  • VuText

Knight Ridder Owned Television Stations[]

From 1956 to 1962, Knight Newspapers, Inc. co-owned a then-NBC affiliate, WCKT in Miami, Florida, with the Cox publishing family.

In 1977, Knight Ridder entered broadcasting with the acquisition of Poole Broadcasting, which consisted of WJRT-TV in Flint, Michigan, WTEN in Albany, New York and its satellite WCDC in Adams, Massachusetts, and WPRI-TV in Providence, Rhode Island. Immediately after the acquisition of these stations was finalized, Knight Ridder cut a corporate affiliation deal with ABC, switching then-CBS affiliates WTEN/WCDC and WPRI (the latter of which eventually rejoined CBS) to ABC (WJRT was already affiliated with ABC when the affiliation deal was made). Knight Ridder would acquire several television stations in medium-sized markets during the 1980s, including three stations owned by The Detroit News which the Gannett Company (which purchased the newspaper in 1986) could not keep due to Federal Communications Commission regulations on media cross-ownership and/or television duopolies then in effect. (Interestingly, none of Knight Ridder's later acquisitions changed their network affiliations under Knight Ridder ownership; for example, then-NBC affiliate WALA-TV in Mobile, Alabama remained an NBC affiliate when it was owned by Knight Ridder and would switch to Fox several years after Knight Ridder sold the station.) In early 1989, Knight Ridder announced its exit from broadcasting, selling all of its stations to separate buyers; the sales were finalized in the summer and early fall of that year.

Current DMA# Market Station Years Owned Current Affiliation/Owner
16. Miami, Florida WCKT 7
(now WSVN)
1956-62** Fox affiliate owned by Sunbeam Television
30. Nashville, Tennessee WKRN-TV 2 1983-89 ABC affiliate owned by Young Broadcasting
42. Norfolk, Virginia WTKR 3 1981-89 CBS affiliate owned by the New York Times Company
(Station for sale; awaiting new buyer)
45. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma KTVY 4
(now KFOR-TV)
1986-89 NBC affiliate owned by the New York Times Company
(Station for sale; awaiting new buyer)
51. Providence, Rhode Island WPRI-TV 12 1977-89 CBS affiliate owned by LIN Television
56. Albany, New York WTEN 10/
1977-89 ABC affiliates owned by Young Broadcasting
(WCDC is a satellite of WTEN)
59. Mobile, Alabama - Pensacola, Florida WALA-TV 10 1986-89 Fox affiliate owned by LIN Television
66. Flint, Michigan WJRT-TV 12 1977-89 ABC owned-and-operated (O&O)
70. Tucson, Arizona KOLD-TV 13 1986-89 CBS affiliate owned by Raycom Media

**This station was co-owned by Knight Newspapers and Cox Newspapers, long before Knight's merger with Ridder Publications.

External links[]

Credit and categories[]

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