Detroit Newspaper Agency Reorganized; Gannett Acquires the Detroit Free Press; MediaNews Group Acquires Agency Interest and the Detroit News
McLEAN, VA; DENVER – Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI) and MediaNews Group today announced a series of transactions resulting in the sale of Knight Ridder’s newspaper interests in Detroit to Gannett and MediaNews Group, and the formation of the Detroit Newspaper Partnership, L.P.
Knight Ridder is selling its partnership interest in the Detroit Newspaper Agency to the two newspaper publishers. The partnership will manage the business operations of the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News, including production, advertising and circulation.
MediaNews Group will acquire The Detroit News from Gannett and Gannett will acquire the Detroit Free Press. Gannett will become the general partner in the Detroit newspaper partnership and MediaNews Group will become the limited partner.
The terms of the transactions were not disclosed.
Among changes expected in early 2006 as a result of the transaction:
The Detroit News will become a morning publication.
The Free Press and The Detroit News each will publish a separate Saturday edition.
The Detroit Free Press will become sole publisher of the Sunday newspaper. Currently, the Saturday and Sunday editions are a joint publication of the News and the Free Press.
Gannett President and CEO Craig Dubow said: “Two daily newspapers, competing editorially in the city of Detroit. That’s the bottom line of today’s transactions. Detroit is the winner here, and Gannett is proud we were able to make this happen. We believe in this community.
“We welcome MediaNews Group to Detroit. They are great friends of ours and we are pleased to have them join us in this partnership. More importantly, we are looking forward to the robust competition in the newsroom. We know The Detroit News and its employees will be in good journalistic hands.
“Working with Knight Ridder in Detroit since 1989 has been a great experience for both of us. We know each other well and understand their decision. They have our thanks.”
William Dean Singleton, vice chairman and CEO of MediaNews Group, said: “We are glad to be joining our friends at Gannett in the new venture in Detroit. Like Gannett, we believe in Detroit and in two newspaper voices. So, stand by for some robust competition between newsrooms, as well as a renewed spirit of cooperation in the back office.”
A number of personnel changes are happening as a result of the transaction.
David L. Hunke will become president and publisher of the Detroit Free Press. Hunke was president and publisher of the Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle. Hunke also has worked at the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Miami Herald, the Wichita Eagle and the Kansas City Star.
Paul E. Anger will become editor of the Detroit Free Press. Anger has been vice president and editor of the Des Moines (IA) Register since 2002 and formerly was with The Miami Herald as executive sports editor; editor and publisher of the Herald’s Broward County publications; and news editor of the Knight Ridder News Service post 9/11.
Mark S. Mikolajczyk will become president and CEO of the Detroit Newspaper Partnership, L.P. Mikolajczyk currently is senior vice president/operations for the Gannett Newspaper Division. Ed Humphrey has been acting CEO and will return to his regular duties as senior vice president/circulation.
Mark Silverman will join the Gannett’s Newspaper Division corporate news staff. He was publisher and editor of The Detroit News.
MediaNews Group announced:
David J. Butler will become publisher and editor of The Detroit News. Butler was editor of the MediaNews Group’s Daily News, published in Los Angeles.
Knight Ridder said:
Carol Leigh Hutton, Thom Fladung and Jerry Teagan will remain with Knight Ridder. Hutton was publisher and editor of the Detroit Free Press; Fladung was managing editor; and Teagan was vice president and business manager.
About Gannett Co., Inc.
Gannett Co., Inc. is a leading international news and information company that publishes 101 daily newspapers in the USA, including USA TODAY, the nation’s largest-selling daily newspaper. The company also owns more than 800 non-daily publications in the USA and USA WEEKEND, a weekly newspaper magazine. Gannett subsidiary Newsquest is the United Kingdom’s second largest regional newspaper company. Newsquest publishes more than 300 titles, including 17 daily newspapers, and a network of prize-winning Web sites. Gannett also operates 21 television stations in the United States and is an Internet leader with sites sponsored by its TV stations and newspapers including USATODAY.com, one of the most popular news sites on the Web.
About MediaNews Group, Inc.
MediaNews Group, Inc. is the nation’s seventh largest newspaper company, with headquarters in Denver, CO. MediaNews Group and its affiliated companies publish 50 daily newspapers and 121 non-daily publications in 12 states with daily and Sunday circulation of approximately 2.1 million and 2.4 million, respectively. In addition, MediaNews Group owns a CBS affiliate in Anchorage, Alaska and four radio stations in Texas. MediaNews Group maintains 74 Web sites for its daily newspapers and an umbrella site, newschoice.com.
Vice President of Corporate Communications
Director, Investor Relations
For MediaNews Group:
Joseph (Jody) J. Lodovic, IV
MediaNews Group, Inc.
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