Tuesday, July 24, 2007

John Rogers' Ariel Capital Management Increases its Stake in McClatchy, the Wichita Eagle's Owner

John Rodgers is an old and savvy investor. Media Daily News reports that his investment company has raised its ownership stake in the McClatchy Company to 15.5 percent. The Chicago Tribune reports, "'Our firm is based on contrarianism. We often find that's where opportunity is,' said Ariel founder John Rogers."

The McClatchy family owns about 30% of the outstanding shares and has super shares to allow it control. Hedge fund Citadel Investment Group also has accumulated 3.2 million McClatchy Class A shares.

Newspapers have always been great cash generators. John Rodgers, Citadel, Rupert Murdoch, and Sam Zell all seem to think they are worth investing in. Everyone else is avoiding them like the plague. At least in Murdoch’s case we know that his strategic insight is that he who controls the content commands the audiences.

Ft.com has an interview with Zell that provides a view of the business that he back up with a very large bet.

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