Hearst has paid $317 million for a stake in rival newspaper publisher MediaNews Group, Reuters reported, citing a regulatory filing. The complicated deal involves the ownership of several newspaper in the San Francisco Bay Area. The two publishers initially announced the deal in the April 2006, in which MediaNews took over newspapers that Hearst had bought from McClatchy. That first deal gave Hearst, which owns the San Francisco Chronicle, a 31 percent interest in MediaNews’s operations outside the San Francisco region, such as the San Jose Mercury News, Contra Costa Times and other papers part of the Alameda Newspaper Group.
Knight Ridder, which previously owned The Mercury News and Contra Costa Times, was bought by McClatchy (NYSE: MNI) last year. McClatchy then sold several of those papers to a variety of other buyers.