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Knight Ridder Releases August Statistical Report

Friday, September 20, 2002

Press release from the issuing company

SAN JOSE, Calif., Sept. 19 -- Knight Ridder's total operating revenue for August was down 1.3%; for the year to date it was down 4.4%. Total advertising revenue was down 1.2% for the month and 5.1% for the year to date. St. Paul was up 3.6% and Akron was up 5.4%. Retail, building on its July momentum, was up 4.1% for the month and 0.8% for the year to date. Many markets gained strength. Retail revenue for the month in San Jose was up 10.5%; Miami was up 6.7%, Charlotte was up 5.8%, Kansas City was up 3.0%, St. Paul was up 5.6%, Fort Worth was up 2.4% and Philadelphia was up 1.4%. General advertising revenue was down 4.3% for the month and down 4.8% for the year to date. A number of markets showed strength. San Jose was up 28.2%, Contra Costa was up 30.8%, Miami was up 2.2% and Kansas City was up 5.3%. Although telecommunications was strong in many major markets, it was soft in Philadelphia and Fort Worth. Travel, including airlines, hotels and cruise lines, showed growth in most markets. Classified revenue was down 6.6% for the month and 11.6% for the year to date. Help wanted revenue was down 23.4%. Automotive was up 2.1%. Real estate was down 2.1%. San Jose's year-over-year decline, resulting from a 45.8% drop in help wanted revenue, continued to be the company's largest. Other large markets were soft, but considerably less so. Lexington was up 9.4%, Akron was up 2.4% and St. Paul was up 1.1%. Knight Ridder Chairman and CEO Tony Ridder said, "We had a good month in retail, but general and classified were somewhat disappointing. General suffered primarily from the cycling of some major telecom spending in Philadelphia and Fort Worth; classified continued to reflect an unemployment rate of 5.7% nationally and 7.6% in Silicon Valley. Hiring is still soft, and advertising for available jobs remains thin. This choppiness has persisted into September. In addition, our equity line continues to be negatively impacted by the low price of newsprint. As a result, I anticipate that third quarter earnings will fall at about the $.81 per share level we achieved last year." Circulation revenue was down 6.0% for the month and 3.9% for the year to date. However, daily copies increased 1.4% and Sunday copies increased 0.8%. Other revenue was up 15.4% for the month, reflecting primarily Knight Ridder Digital, up 32.1%, and an increase in earnings from Detroit.




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