Knight Ridder buys papers with local ties
Knight Ridder, the nation’s second-largest newspaper publisher, has purchased five northern California newspapers that were founded by a trio that includes two newspapermen with ties to Aspen.Jim Pavelich, founder of the Vail Daily and Summit Daily News, announced Tuesday that Knight Ridder has acquired the group of newspapers he and partners Dave Price and Dave Danforth started.Price and Pavelich will continue to oversee the Palo Alto Daily News, Los Gatos Daily News, Redwood City Daily News, San Mateo Daily News and Burlingame Daily News for Knight Ridder.Pavelich founded the Vail Daily in 1981 and the Summit Daily News in 1989. In 1993, he sold both papers to Swift Newspapers, which also owns The Aspen Times and other area newspapers.Price was the founding editor of the Aspen Times Daily, started in November 1988 by then-Aspen Times Weekly owner Bil Dunaway. The Aspen Times Daily later became The Aspen Times. Price had also previously worked at the Aspen Daily News and KSNO radio in Aspen.Danforth is the founder and continues to own the Aspen Daily News.Price and Pavelich predict the acquisition will benefit readers in northern California.”We see this as a win-win,” Pavelich said. “Knight Ridder’s resources will help us improve our news reporting and strengthen our customer relationships.””They came to us, and before selling, we researched what they had done in other cities,” Price said. “Every time they have acquired a newspaper, that paper improved in every area, from news to circulation, from advertising to printing. We’re happy to be working with them.”The Palo Alto Daily News was founded Dec. 7, 1995, by Danforth, Pavelich and Price; the first issue was eight pages with a circulation of 3,000. The three owners hit the streets of Palo Alto and handed out the paper to anyone who would take a copy. Within days, the paper was attracting readers and advertisers, and was operating in the black within 10 months.In 2000, the Daily News expanded into San Mateo, Burlingame and Redwood City with daily editions. Initially, those newspapers were headquartered in the basement of Price’s home in San Mateo County.In 2002, the Daily News expanded again by launching a Los Gatos newspaper. Like the other editions of the Daily News, it began with eight pages. It has now grown to between 24 and 56 pages per day.Knight Ridder publishes 31 daily newspapers in 28 U.S. markets.
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A ski season surrounded with uncertainty kicks off on Wednesday. The six inches of new snowfall Tuesday will allow opening of an additional 62 acres on Aspen Mountain, bringing opening-day total to about 160 acres.