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Citing the performance of the stock and the generally poor outlook for traditional newspaper publishing, Knight Ridder's largest single shareholder, Private Capital Management, a Florida investment firm that owns 19 percent of the company, has asked the board to put the company up for sale. That might make PCM happy, but it's ultimately counterproductive in solving the problem of how to deal with reader/usage migration from traditional print to the Internet.

Knight Ridder is the second-largest newspaper publisher in the U.S., after Gannett, and one of the most progressive.

Newspapers are in a relatively strong position online and simply need to leverage that to create a broader, more compelling online product. Of course, that's much easier said than done given some of the "cultural" obstacles newspapers must surmount.

However, new ad products such as PaperBoy should help the industry with advertisers and create more valuable inventory on newspaper sites.

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