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Tony Ridder falls to new low ... real low

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by The Duke, Jun 23, 2006.

  1. The Duke

    The Duke Member

    Ridder expected to join McClatchy board after deal
    By Pete Carey
    Mercury News
    Knight Ridder Chairman and Chief Executive Tony Ridder will join McClatchy's board of directors after the sale of Knight Ridder is complete next week, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

    Knight Ridder's agreement to be purchased by McClatchy allows the San Jose company two seats on McClatchy's board, but the identity of the second board member remains unknown.

    Knight Ridder shareholders will vote on whether to sell the company to McClatchy on Monday in San Jose at Knight Ridder's annual meeting. If the proposal is approved as expected, final papers will be filed the following day and Knight Ridder will cease to exist.

    An official announcement of Ridder's appointment to the McClatchy board will be made later that week, the sources said.

    Ridder declined to comment. He will become a director at the company that decided to sell 12 Knight Ridder newspapers, including the Mercury News, after purchasing Knight Ridder for $4.5 billion. McClatchy is also assuming $2 billion in Knight Ridder debt.

    Ridder expressed disappointment in March that McClatchy was selling the San Jose newspaper where he served as publisher for nine years. Ridder worked at the Mercury News in several positions from 1964-86, before joining Knight Ridder's corporate staff.

    He will be the second former Mercury News publisher on McClatchy's board -- the other is Larry Jinks, who was publisher from 1989-94.

    McClatchy pays directors $35,000 per year plus $1,750 per day for in-person attendance at board of directors meetings, and $1,250 for attendance at committee meetings, according to the Sacramento news group's 2006 proxy statement.

    Ridder will also have an option to purchase up to 3,000 shares of McClatchy stock.

    The Mercury News strives to avoid use of unnamed sources. When unnamed sources are used because information cannot otherwise be obtained, the newspaper generally requires more than one source to confirm the information. Contact Pete Carey at pcarey@mercurynews.com or (408) 920-5419.
  2. Rot in Hell, scumbag ...
  3. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    Maybe I'm a dumb guy, but I don't get why this would represent falling to a "new low." Whenever a company is sold, usually the owner or chief executive gets a seat on the new company's board.
  4. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    You're not a dumb guy, at least not when it comes to your perspective on this situation. What happened is standard procedure.
  5. tyler durden 71351

    tyler durden 71351 Active Member

    FUCK Tony Ridder. Gutless motherfucker....give all that dough you made on the sale to reporters, you sad sack bitch.
  6. tonysoprano

    tonysoprano Member

    Preach on brother man! ;D
  7. Moland Spring

    Moland Spring Member

    I don't understand, either? Why is this "low?"
  8. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    I don't see this as bad. In fact, I don't see what happened to KR as Tony's fault. The company was still run by a journalist, the late Jim Batten, when Ridder became president in 1989, second-in-command to Batten. And in 1995 Ridder succeeded Batten, who resigned because of health reasons, to become the first non-journalist to run the company. The board, and Batten, had to know that promoting Ridder was going to mean significant changes, and I assume they either wanted those changes, or saw them as unavoidable, and that Tony carried them out. Indeed, there had already been increasing pressures for the papers to perform better financially while Batten ran the company -- those pressures became much worse under Ridder, but it's not true that he created them.

    The increasing pressures were a product of Wall Street demanding Gannett-level profit margins from everyone. Tony is what he is, a business-side guy. And, being a company traded on the stock exchange, who's to say that what happened to KR this year wouldn't have happened 10 years earlier if the board had put another journalist in charge of the company instead of Tony? Let's remember that 10 years before KR died, in a speech at the ASNE convention, Tony had warned that not maintaining profit levels would leave the company vulnerable to a hostile takeover, that these profits were not the result of greed but of self-preservation. So he did not envision that ultimately the threat would come from within, but he was almost correct in predicting the future:

    "Should we fail to generate a fair return, the price of those assets reflected in the price of our stock will fall. Make no mistake. It could fall to the point where someone else might find it an attractive proposition to buy those assets and see what kind of return he or she could get from them. And that person, a takeover shark perhaps, would not necessarily have quality journalism uppermost in mind."
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