Santa Cruz newspaper may be on the market

The Associated Press
Friday December 21, 2001

SANTA CRUZ — The Santa Cruz Sentinel may soon be for sale, according to its owner, Ottaway Newspapers. 

Ottaway president Joe Richter confirmed that the 145-year-old Sentinel is on a list of properties his company might be willing to sell or trade. 

“What we’re doing is taking a few of our papers and doing what we call a ‘strategic analysis of the markets,’ ” Richter said.  

A change in market conditions could change any plans to unload the newspaper, Richter said. 

Ottaway is a subsidiary of Dow Jones and Co. Peter Kann, Dow Jones’ chairman and chief executive officer, told investors at a Credit Suisse First Boston media conference recently that several papers may soon be sold or swapped with owners of other nearby papers. 

Knight Ridder owns the San Jose Mercury News as well as The Monterey County Herald, the Sentinel’s neighbors.  

Polk Laffoon, vice president/corporate relations for Knight Ridder, declined to comment on whether the company was in negotiations with Ottaway. 

Calls to Ottaway Thursday seeking further comment were not immediately returned. Calls to Santa Cruz Sentinel publisher David B. Regan also went unreturned. 

Regan told the Mercury News that his staff is obviously concerned, but is trying to put out the best possible newspaper every day. “If we get sold, we get sold,” he said. “If we get traded, we get traded.” 

Ottaway purchased the newspaper almost two decades ago from the McPherson family which had operated the Sentinel for four generations.  

The Sentinel has a daily circulation of 26,760 and a Sunday circulation of 29,352, according to the 2001 Editor and Publisher yearbook.