Monday, June 19, 2006

What happens to KRT?

The day McClatchy's acquisition of Knight Ridder closes (likely to be June 27, if all goes according to plan), KR's half-interest in Knight Ridder Tribune Information Services also changes hands. We will become 50-50 partners with Tribune in the enterprise.

The name will change. For the time being, at least, all we are doing is substituting our name for Knight Ridder's, as in the logo above. In the same way that KRT was known by its three initials, we plan to brand this MCT. (We thought about simply MT, but that has problems. Say it aloud a couple of time: Em-Tee, Em-Tee. We also thought that McT -- Mac-Tee -- sounded too much like a fast food product.) The logos and website designs will be tuned to look like the KRT trademarks to help ensure continuity of branding and recognition.

Most importantly, the high-quality content and professional service will remain the same. Some of you know that McClatchy's contractual relations as a contributor to the New York Times News Service and Scripps-Howard News Service create some complications with regard to distribution through MCT. While we are sorting that out, we have agreed with NYTNS that the 20 former KR papers will continue to contribute through MCT, while the 12 legacy McClatchy papers will keep contributing to NYTNS and Scripps.

We have also invited most of the divested KR papers to continue contributing and receiving the wire, and I expect they will. Thus KRT clients who were accustomed to seeing Philadelphia or San José stories should continue to have them. Jane Scholz and her fine staff in DC continue as before.

Of course there will be changes. The existing McClatchy papers (who were already KRT's largest customer) will get access to more of the service; somebody from the service will be contacting them about that. Distribution will change in the Twin Cities. We will have to work through which channels handle contributions from bureau staffers.

If you spot or foresee problems or anomalies, please flag them for me, Jane or David Westphal. Thanks.

– Howard Weaver

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