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Pulitzer Sale Won't Lead to Drastic Changes

By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – Officials with Pulitzer Incorporated, the family business that owns the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, say the new owner has similar values.

Iowa-based Lee Enterprises is buying Pulitzer for nearly $1.5 billion.

The deal includes the Post-Dispatch and thirteen other newspapers. Pulitzer CEO and President Bob Woodworth says the board of trustees voted unanimously to sell to Lee.

He says the company is the best fit for Pulitzers' newspapers, employees, and shareholders.

"We have really tried to adhere to the spirit of Pulitzer and I think this is the best possible outcome for this going forward," Woodworth said.

Woodworth and Post-Dispatch Publisher Terry Egger say they don't expect big changes at the paper.

A union leader at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says workers are relieved that Lee will buy the paper and its owner.

Several newspaper companies had shown interest in the family-owned Pulitzer Incorporated since it announced in November it might sell.

St. Louis Newspaper Guild President Jeff Gordon says employees are glad to learn Lee will pick up union contracts.

"There are sales in this business where the owner comes in and hits the restart button; might make a lot of people reapply for their jobs or have wholesale change on day one," Gordon said. "I think there will still be change down the road, but this went as smoothly as possible for a sale."

Gordon says Lee also has a record of keeping local management. In a conference call Monday morning Mary Junkck, chief executive at Lee, said the company admires Pulitzer's journalistic tradition and will preserve its heritage.

To hear a report from KWMU's Matt Sepic about the sale,
click here --->

To listen to Tuesday's St. Louis on the Air, which featured a discussion about the sale of the Post-Dispatch, click here.