Private Capital splices in Avid

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NEW YORK -- Investment firm Private Capital Management has acquired an 11.9% stake in digital-media software firm Avid Technology Inc., according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing Friday.

The firm, led by money manager Bruce Sherman, has invested in media and entertainment companies in the past.

As of Sept. 30, it had reported stakes in Time Warner Inc., newspaper firms Gannett Co. Inc., and McClatchy Co. and TV station group Hearst-Argyle Television Inc.

Private Capital also reported Friday that it has cut its stakes in the New York Times and two other media and publishing companies.

The Naples, Fla., money-management firm? disclosed that it cut its stake in New York Times Co. Class A stock to 9.3% from 14.4%.

Private Capital, once the largest holder of New York Times' Class A shares, now holds about 13.36 million of them, down from 20.7 million shares as of Feb. 17, 2006.

Arthur Sulzberger Jr., company chairman and the publisher of its flagship New York Times newspaper, and his family own 88.7% of the company's Class B stock, which isn't publicly traded. The majority of New York Times Co. board members are elected by the Class B shareholders.

In a separate SEC filing, Private Capital also reported cutting its stake in Belo Corp. Series A stock to 19.5% from 25.9%, with beneficial ownership of 17.12 million shares. It held about 23.32 million shares of the publisher of The Dallas Morning News and the Providence Journal as of March 17.

Private Capital also said it has cut its stake in the common stock of Lee Enterprises Inc. to 14.3% from 18%, with beneficial ownership of about 5.68 million shares. It reported holding 8.2 million shares of the Davenport, Iowa, newspaper publisher last Feb. 14.

Private Capital reported its stake changes on a form designated for passive investors -- those not seeking to change or influence a company's operations. Such filers aren't required to provide a reason for any changes in stake, and don't have to disclose any transactions with the SEC.
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