McClatchy Taps Foreman As CEO, Accelerates Digital Efforts

McClatchy Co., publisher of daily newspapers like The Miami Herald and The Sacramento Bee, has tapped Craig I. Forman to succeed Patrick J. Talamantes as the company’s president and CEO.

Forman is currently a member of McClatchy’s Board of Directors and will remain on the board.

The announcement brings an end to Talamantes’ four-year tenure as president and CEO. He previously served as the company’s CFO for 11 years.

In a statement from the company, Kevin McClatchy, chairman of McClatchy's board, suggests Forman will focus on accelerating the company’s digital efforts. Forman said the company will use technology as a “catalyst for growth."

“The thing we have to work on is our pace," Forman told The Sacramento Bee.

McClatchy added that Forman was “instrumental” in focusing on the company’s digital transformation, while Talamantes led the company through “turbulent times.”

Last fall, McClatchy saw total revenues fall 6.6% to $234.7 million, as total ad revenues slid 11.1% from $149.9 million to $133.2 million, offsetting a 1.9% increase in “audience” revenues (including circulation) from $89.3 million to $91 million.

Print ads tumbled 16.9% from $51.9 million to $42.6 million, while total digital ads grew 12.1% from $19.6 million to $22 million. Fourth-quarter results will be released February 9.

Forman has served as executive chairman of Where.com Inc. and Appia Inc., as well as held executive roles at Yahoo!, Time Warner, Infoseek and Dow Jones. He began his career as a journalist and served as bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal.

A few weeks ago, the company announced it was selling the buildings housing The Sacramento Bee in California and The State in Columbia, SC, to two different buyers, for $51 million and  $17 million, respectively.

McClatchy will use the proceeds from these sales to pay down its debt.

Last month, McClatchy bought The Herald-Sun of Durham, North Carolina from Kentucky-based Paxton Media Group.

McClatchy operates media companies in 29 U.S. markets in 14 states. It is headquartered in Sacramento, California.

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