Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Fargo Forum to buy Grand Forks Herald?

Big changes could be in store for the Grand Forks Herald. Over the weekend, Herald parent company Knight Ridder was purchased by the Sacramento-based McClatchy Company. Knight Ridder has been on the auction block for some time, which has lead Herald employees to be a bit concerned over the paper's future as well as their employment. It looks like this isn't a good time for them to stop worrying. Shortly after the Knight Ridder purchase was announced, McClatchy stated that they intend to sell of a dozen of Knight Ridder's newspapers including the Herald. Apparently, McClatchy doesn't think these twelve papers have much potential for growth or for making them a bunch of money. So, the Grand Forks Herald, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Aberdeen American News, and the Duluth News Tribune are among the twelve papers that McClatchy wants to ditch.

This leaves many unanswered questions. Who is going to want to buy the Herald now if it is so "worthless" in the eyes of McClatchy? I can see two potential outcomes. Perhaps a buyer would want to purchase the Herald, the Pioneer Press, and the other regional papers and make a new regional chain of newspapers. However, a much more likely outcome would see Fargo Forum parent company Forum Communications adding the Herald to their already impressive regional lineup. In fact, an article in today's Duluth News Tribune states that Knight Ridder CEO Tony Ridder says that there is a "family-owned investment group" which has expressed interest in buying the Herald and the other regional papers in question. As the Duluth News Tribune article suggests, that interested party is almost certainly Forum Communications.

It's going to be interesting to see what happens next...

5 comments:

JGS said...

Does this mean the Grand Forks Herald will have to change it's name? Would hate to see that happen.

GrandForksGuy said...

No, I doubt that we'll be reading anything other than the "Grand Forks Herald" anytime soon.

drunk said...

I think they're getting rid of the St. Paul Pioneer Press because of antitrust concerns.

Maybe the GF Herald will gain a new website and more interesting local news. Knight-Ridder has ruined the internet face to so many newspapers.

Anonymous said...

That may be the case, but have you seen either the Bismarck or Minot papers' sites. I believe they're both independents and their web sites are the worst. Not only ugly and uninteresting but try searching for something.

Dave Miller said...

The Fargo Forum would be an interesting buy. What would that do in terms of the the Fargo vs Grand Forks thing? Will they stop covering Sioux Hockey?

An interesting theory was put forward by Carl Howe at Newsvine. I think Google would make things very interesting.