What you need to know about McClatchy’s Christmas week surprise is this:
One of the smartest newspaper companies around concluded it was a good idea to sell the Minneapolis Star Tribune for about half of what it paid in 1997. And Minneapolis isn’t even a city where the newspapers are tanking on the magnitude of, say, Boston or Philadelphia.
Which in turn means:
1. Brian Tierney et al overpaid for Philadelphia’s papers.
2. The reported $600 million offer that Jack Welch et al have dangled [editor’s note: thanks, David!] for the New York looks prescient, considering it’s around half of what the Times paid for the Globe’s parent company in 1993. (I still don’t think that sale will happen, though.)
3. Tribune’s attempts to wring more dollars out of its potential bidders just got tougher.