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Knight Ridder Lowers Expectations

March 19, 2001

NEW YORK (AP) _ Knight Ridder, the nation’s second-largest newspaper publisher after Gannett Co., lowered its expectations for first quarter earnings Monday for the second time.

After warning just one month ago that first quarter earnings would be down ``modestly″ from the same period a year ago, Knight Ridder chairman Tony Ridder said Monday that the ``revenue environment continues to deteriorate, and we do not see relief in March.″

As a result, the company now expects first quarter earnings to fall 15 cents to 20 cents.

Analysts surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial had expected Knight Ridder to earn 71 cents a share in the first quarter, down from 74 cents in the same period a year ago.

The San Jose, Calif.-based company, whose properties include the San Jose Mercury News and the Miami Herald, said that advertising revenues fell 2.7 percent in February from the same month a year ago, with markets in Philadelphia, San Jose and Detroit showing the most weakness.

Knight Ridder’s stock was off $1.13 to close at $54.36 Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.

Other newspaper publishers have also warned of lower profits in the first quarter due to a dropoff in advertising revenues. Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal, has also warned investors twice of lower profits.

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