03-31-06 | Printable Version

McClatchy, Knight Ridder Combine Top Growth Markets

Dirks, Van Essen & Murray's Market Index has consistently ranked McClatchy's existing portfolio of just a dozen daily newspaper markets at the top of the public companies in terms of growth rates. Cities such as Raleigh and Minneapolis are among the fastest-growing areas in the country.

With the addition of 20 dailies from Knight Ridder – including such expanding markets as Fort Worth, Texas; Boise, Idaho; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – McClatchy still will rank first in growth.

In fact, McClatchy and Knight Ridder with the planned divestitures rank first and second in growth scores on the DV&M Market Index among the publicly traded companies.

The DV&M Market Index is a proprietary database of information that assesses the relative attractiveness of daily newspaper markets across several categories. The index provides a score between 0 and 100 (with 100 being the most attractive) and a rank within the universe of 1,450 daily newspapers in the country for each daily newspaper in each category.

Market growth is just one of several categories assessed by the DV&M Index. Other areas include competition, demographics and circulation size.

While the 12 Knight Ridder newspapers McClatchy plans to divest generally have lower growth scores than the 20 remaining properties, most have very attractive attributes in other areas that make them above-average properties overall. For example, the Grand Forks (ND) Herald ranks in the top quarter among all dailies in terms of lack of competition and market size, making it a well above-average place to publish a daily newspaper.

Similarly, the Akron (OH) Beacon, with an overall score of 66, ranks in the top quarter on an overall basis among all dailies due to the very attractive characteristics of the market important to newspaper publishing.

It is interesting to note that average growth scores for all of the public companies owning at least 10 daily newspapers are greater than 50, meaning that the markets served by these companies are above the national average on balance.

In general, the public companies with lower average (unweighted) growth scores on the chart tend to be those that own more dailies, since they are more likely to converge toward the mean.