Press: A Game of Chicken in Detroit

Knight-Ridder threatens to close down a venerable paper

For a quarter-century, Detroit has been the scene of one of the nation's bitterest newspaper wars. All-out efforts by the afternoon News and the morning Free Press to beat each other into submission cost millions and kept newsstand prices and advertising rates at rock bottom. Then two years ago both papers agreed to an odd sort of truce. Gannett Co., owner of the News, and Knight-Ridder Inc., owner of the Free Press, decided to take advantage of a federal law designed to preserve the editorial voice of a dying newspaper by allowing it to combine its business operations with a healthy...

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