Englewood, Colo. -- So much for cable-newspaper
Tele-Communications Inc. said last Wednesday that it has
reached a definitive agreement to sell four of the five newspapers that it acquired with
Kearns-Tribune Corp. in July. The buyer is A.L. Alford Jr.'s TPC Holdings Inc., and
the price was not disclosed. Alford is the editor and publisher of one of the newspapers, The
Lewiston Morning Tribune in Lewiston, Idaho. He could not be reached for comment at
The other papers involved in the deal are The
Moscow-Pullman Daily News in Moscow, Idaho; The Whitman County Gazette in
Colfax, Wash.; and The Daily Sparks Tribune in Sparks, Nev.
TCI retains The Salt Lake Tribune, a daily paper in
Salt Lake City.
TCI bought Kearns-Tribune for $627 million, in the form of
52.8 million shares of TCI Class A stock.
While TCI mentioned that the newspapers would provide
'a platform from which to enhance and experiment with media distribution,' the
real reason for buying Kearns-Tribune was to enable TCI chairman and CEO John Malone to
swap some of his stock for Kearns-Tribune's supervoting Class B shares. After
exchanging 7.3 million Class A shares that he bought from Knight-Ridder for 7.3 million of
the former Kearns-Tribune Class B shares, Malone ended up with about 25 percent voting
power in TCI.
TCI said the sale was in keeping with its ongoing strategy
of disposing of nonstrategic assets. The deal is expected to close sometime in the next
three months, subject to regulatory and other approvals.