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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Newspaper Biz Not Bad Says 3rd Largest KR Shareholder

Explains: It's Just That Knight-Ridder Stock Price is Too Low

The San Jose
Mercury-News carries an interview with the 3rd largest Knight-Ridder stockholder. Harris Associates of Chicago is owner of 8.2 % of the Knight-Ridder stock. Harris has joined the two stop stockholders in calling for the sale of Knight-Ridder in whole or in pieces. Henry R. Berghoef, portfolio manager and the research director of the firm says that the newspaper is undergoing transition but that the doomsayers are getting things wrong. His judgment is that the newspaper business is still pretty good.

``We're not trying to make any broad statement about how we feel about the newspaper industry,'' Berghoef said. ``What we're specifically looking at is a path to achieve the appropriate return for our investment.''

Knight Ridder spokesman Polk Laffoon declined to comment on Berghoef's remarks.

[Berhoef]says his views of the future of newspapers and traditional media are less apocalyptic than many of the comments he's heard over the past week.

``I think all traditional media are facing challenges right now,'' he said. ``By the same token, these are fairly good businesses. They're not as dominant as they used to be. But it's also my view that people are too pessimistic. What did Mark Twain say? `Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.' ''

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