Information, observations, and analysis from the James River valley on the Northern Plains-----
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The Newspaper Guild is making an offer to Knight Ridder to buy eight of its newspapers, including the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Duluth News Tribune, and the Grand Forks Herald in the upper Midwest.
Corporate stockholders have been dissatisfied with the performance of Knight Ridder stocks and have pressured the management to seek a buyer for the company. In all, Knight Ridder operates 32 newspapers in the U.S.
The Guild said it is also interested in the San Jose Mercury News, Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, Akron Beacon Journal, Lexington Herald-Leader, and the Monterey-Herald.
The Aberdeen American News is the only news medium, except for a number of weeklies, covering northeastern South Dakota and southeastern North Dakota. Its coverage of the region is slipshod and sporadic, and its journalistic performance often falls below basic levels of competence. Many readers have been hopeful that a Knight Ridder sale would result in an upgrade of news coverage through a more competent and comprehensive coverage of the region.
The News Guild offer is directed at important papers in the upper Midwest, leaving the Aberdeen paper out of any regional plans the Guild may have.
Radio and television stations do not attempt to cover the area, and the omission of Aberdeen from a potential purchase indicates that it may be too weak a market area to attract buyers for the paper.