A group that includes Knight-Ridder Newspapers Inc. made a "solid proposal" to acquire Storer Communications Inc., and that proposal "is still on the table," Knight-Ridder's chairman said here today.

Also participating in the group are Scripps-Howard Broadcasting Co. and Tele-Communications Inc.

The proposal had been rumored, but its confirmation added to the drama surrounding Storer Communications, a Miami-based broadcasting and cable television company.

The company already is the object of a leveraged-buyout bid that it values at about $1.86 billion. It also is in a proxy fight for control of its board.

Storer Communications held its annual meeting in nearby Bal Harbour, Fla., today, but results of that proxy fight aren't expected to be disclosed for at least a week. The meeting was adjourned until May 17 to allow time to count shareholder votes. Each side predicted success in the contest.

At the meeting, Peter Storer, chairman and chief executive, said that Storer Communications has talked with 19 firms during the last several months about possible business combinations. He said the company concluded that a leveraged-buyout offer from the New York investment firm of Kohlberg, Kravis Roberts & Co. represented the "best outcome for stockholders."

After the meeting, Storer told reporters that a group consisting of Knight-Ridder, Scripps-Howard and Tele-Communications had been allowed to see confidential business information of Storer Communications. He said talks with the group were "concurrent primarily with our discussions with Kohlberg Kravis."

Storer said "no firm proposal" or "firm price" was offered by the group.

Alvah H. Chapman Jr., chairman and chief executive of Knight-Ridder, a Miami-based communications firm, said the three companies had approached Storer Communications about a takeover and had made a "serious proposal."

"I would characterize it as a friendly proposal, a solid proposal and a lot more specific than Mr. Storer characterized it," said Chapman, interviewed during the American Newspaper Publishers Association convention here.

He added, "Our proposal is still on the table, as far as we are concerned." Chapman declined to give details of the offer.

Storer said the group proposed a "bust-up" of Storer Communications. He declined to comment on speculation that Tele-Communications, a Denver cable TV company, would get most or all of Storer Communications' cable system, while Knight-Ridder and Cincinnati-based Scripps-Howard would divide its seven TV stations.

Also at the convention, Allen H. Neuharth, chairman of Gannett Co., said his firm was invited by Storer Communications to discuss a deal. He said the talks didn't advance beyond the casual stage.

At the Storer Communications meeting, the dissident shareholders questioned whether Storer had actively sought or encouraged prospective bidders for his company.

Last week, the Storer Communications board signed a definitive agreement for the firm to be taken private by Kohlberg Kravis. The offer calls for each of the 21.2 million fully diluted Storer Communications shares to be exchanged for $75 cash and a package of securities with a market value Storer Communications estimated at $12.50, or a total of $87.50 a share.

Shareholders would be asked to approve the buyout at a special meeting. After going private, the company would be owned by current management and Kohlberg Kravis. Storer would remain chief executive.

The dissident shareholders, who own 5.3 percent of Storer Communications and are led by the New Jersey investment firm of Coniston Partners, said they valued the buyout offer at $84 to $85 a share. Knight-Ridder Group Makes Bid for Storer By Charles Storch Chicago Tribune

MIAMI BEACH, May 7 -- A group that includes Knight-Ridder Newspapers Inc. made a "solid proposal" to acquire Storer Communications Inc., and that proposal "is still on the table," Knight-Ridder's chairman said here today.

Also participating in the group are Scripps-Howard Broadcasting Co. and Tele-Communications Inc.

The proposal had been rumored, but its confirmation added to the drama surrounding Storer Communications, a Miami-based broadcasting and cable television company.

The company already is the object of a leveraged-buyout bid that it values at about $1.86 billion. It also is in a proxy fight for control of its board.

Storer Communications held its annual meeting in nearby Bal Harbour, Fla., today, but results of that proxy fight aren't expected to be disclosed for at least a week. The meeting was adjourned until May 17 to allow time to count shareholder votes. Each side predicted success in the contest.

At the meeting, Peter Storer, chairman and chief executive, said that Storer Communications has talked with 19 firms during the last several months about possible business combinations. He said the company concluded that a leveraged-buyout offer from the New York investment firm of Kohlberg, Kravis Roberts & Co. represented the "best outcome for stockholders."

After the meeting, Storer told reporters that a group consisting of Knight-Ridder, Scripps-Howard and Tele-Communications had been allowed to see confidential business information of Storer Communications. He said talks with the group were "concurrent primarily with our discussions with Kohlberg Kravis."

Storer said "no firm proposal" or "firm price" was offered by the group.

Alvah H. Chapman Jr., chairman and chief executive of Knight-Ridder, a Miami-based communications firm, said the three companies had approached Storer Communications about a takeover and had made a "serious proposal."

"I would characterize it as a friendly proposal, a solid proposal and a lot more specific than Mr. Storer characterized it," said Chapman, interviewed during the American Newspaper Publishers Association convention here.

He added, "Our proposal is still on the table, as far as we are concerned." Chapman declined to give details of the offer.

Storer said the group proposed a "bust-up" of Storer Communications. He declined to comment on speculation that Tele-Communications, a Denver cable TV company, would get most or all of Storer Communications' cable system, while Knight-Ridder and Cincinnati-based Scripps-Howard would divide its seven TV stations.

Also at the convention, Allen H. Neuharth, chairman of Gannett Co., said his firm was invited by Storer Communications to discuss a deal. He said the talks didn't advance beyond the casual stage.

At the Storer Communications meeting, the dissident shareholders questioned whether Storer had actively sought or encouraged prospective bidders for his company.

Last week, the Storer Communications board signed a definitive agreement for the firm to be taken private by Kohlberg Kravis. The offer calls for each of the 21.2 million fully diluted Storer Communications shares to be exchanged for $75 cash and a package of securities with a market value Storer Communications estimated at $12.50, or a total of $87.50 a share.

Shareholders would be asked to approve the buyout at a special meeting. After going private, the company would be owned by current management and Kohlberg Kravis. Storer would remain chief executive.

The dissident shareholders, who own 5.3 percent of Storer Communications and are led by the New Jersey investment firm of Coniston Partners, said they valued the buyout offer at $84 to $85 a share.