Black Press Group to buy San Francisco Examiner

November 11, 2011 - 10:05 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Clarity Media Group announced Friday it is selling the San Francisco Examiner newspaper to a consortium led by Black Press Group Ltd.

The newspaper once owned by William Randolph Hearst is being acquired by a group led by Canada-based Black Press, which publishes more than 170 newspapers in North America, including the Akron Beacon-Journal and Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Clarity Media said.

Clarity Media, a Denver-based company owned by Philip Anschutz, bought the Examiner from the Fang family in 2004. The Fangs had acquired it in 2000 from the Hearst Corp., which sold the Examiner after it bought the San Francisco Chronicle. The Examiner is a free daily newspaper with an estimated circulation of 190,000, according to the California Newspaper Publishers Association.

Clarity CEO Ryan McKibben said it no longer made sense for the company to own the Examiner, its only newspaper on the West Coast. The publisher is now focusing its resources on the Washington, D.C. market and its recent acquisition of The Oklahoman newspaper, he said.

"In Black Press we found a publisher with a successful track record, and a strong commitment to highly localized reporting," McKibben said.

David Black, president of the company based in Victoria, British Columbia, said: "We are delighted to become involved with such a strong newspaper. Readership is second to none in San Francisco and on the peninsula."

The deal is expected to close on Nov. 30. The two privately held companies did not release details of the agreement.