- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 12, 2005

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The media subsidiary of Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz announced yesterday it will start a free, six-day-a-week newspaper that will include an unusual home-delivery service in the Washington area beginning Feb. 1.

The Washington Examiner will replace the three suburban Journal newspapers that Mr. Anschutz’s Clarity Media Group bought from Journal Newspapers Inc.

The tabloid newspaper will offer world and national news, as well as community news ranging from D.C. Council meetings to high school sports, Clarity President Ryan McKibben said. Its circulation will be 260,188.

The paper will be published Sunday through Friday and will feature some news and opinion pages published separately in three zones — the Washington area, suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia.

Home delivery will start in portions of the District of Columbia, the company said. It will be available in news racks throughout the region.

The newspaper’s introduction comes nearly a year after Mr. Anschutz bought the San Francisco Examiner and two Bay Area twice-weekly independent newspapers. In the months ahead, the company may add other newspapers to its stable, Mr. McKibben said.

“We’re always looking for opportunities that are available,” he said.

Although the Denver company has filed trademark applications for the Examiner name in dozens of cities, Mr. McKibben said that name may not necessarily be used on future acquisitions.

The Washington Examiner is being started at a time when the newspaper industry is consolidating and two-newspaper cities are diminishing. Yet the Washington area is competitive, including The Washington Times and The Washington Post.

“This is a difficult business to get into, particularly if you get into markets that already are being well-served by an established newspaper,” said John Morton of Morton Research Inc., a press consulting firm. “It’s a daunting prospect that they’ve set for themselves.”

Mr. Anschutz bought the Journal Newspapers — the Northern Virginia Journal, and the Montgomery Journal and the Prince George’s Journal in Maryland — last year.

The purchase included a commercial printing operation in Northern Virginia. Mr. McKibben declined to release financial details.

Jim McDonald, who has been publisher and chief executive officer of the Journal Newspapers, will be president and publisher of the Washington Examiner. John Wilpers shifted from Journal editor in chief to the same position at the Examiner, and Nicholas Horrock was appointed managing editor.

Mr. Anschutz’s holding company owns interests in about 100 businesses, ranging from railroads and real estate to professional sports teams.

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