McClatchy (Sac Bee) chairman and CEO Gary Pruitt leaving for AP
By Dale Kasler, Mar. 21, 2012
Gary Pruitt, chairman and chief executive of The McClatchy Co. of Sacramento during a period of growth and turmoil, announced today he's leaving the company to take the top job at the Associated Press.
Pruitt's role will be split. He will be replaced as CEO by the company's chief financial officer, Patrick Talamantes, who has been with the company for 11 years. Kevin McClatchy, a fifth-generation member of the family that controls the company, will assume the role of chairman.
"We will be forever grateful for Gary's leadership and service to the company," McClatchy said after the announcement.
Pruitt, 54, led the parent company of The Bee during one of the most dramatic eras in its history. He engineered the 2006 takeover of Knight Ridder Inc. for $4.4 billion, which effectively tripled the size of the company. The deal made Pruitt something of a superstar in the newspaper business.
But that was followed almost immediately by years of painful downsizing as McClatchy, burdened with debt from the Knight Ridder deal, was confronted with a deep recession and an epic downturn in the traditional news media industry. Thousands of employees were let go and the stock price and profits tumbled. In the past year or so ...