The Tribune Publishing Co. rejected a fully financed offer from McClatchy on Thursday that included $15 a share in cash and the rest in stock, according to news reports.
McClatchy owns 30 newspapers including The Miami Herald, Sacramento Bee, Kansas City Star and Charlotte Observer.
A combined McClatchy and Tribune company would have increased the holdings to more than 40 local news organizations across the country that also included the Chicago Tribune, the New York Daily News, the Baltimore Sun and Hartford Courant.
Tribune’s shares rose to $14.20 in mid-day trading, but closed at $13.58 at the end of the day. McClatchy shares rose 6.5 percent to $8 on Thursday and continued to rise in after-hours trading.
McClatchy spokeswoman Jeanne Segal declined to comment Thursday.
Some media industry analysts saw the potential sale as a way for McClatchy to accelerate its transformation into a more digitally focused media company.
Tribune is reportedly talking with other potential buyers. In addition to McClatchy, the Donerail Group and AIM Media also submitted bids for the company that owns. The Donerail Group and AIM have also discussed combining their assets to work out a more attractive deals, according to reports.