McClatchy names finance chief as its next CEO

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Patrick J. Talamantes will be the next chief executive of The McClatchy Co. after the current CEO Gary Pruitt leaves in May to become president and CEO of The Associated Press.

Talamantes, who is 47, currently serves as McClatchy's chief financial officer. He will also take the title of president and join McClatchy's board of directors, the company announced Wednesday. McClatchy is the nation's third-largest newspaper company.

McClatchy also named Kevin S. McClatchy as chairman of the board. He is a fifth-generation member of the founding McClatchy family and has been a board member since 1998.

Gary B. Pruitt, 54, will step down as chairman, chief executive and president on May 16. He will join the AP as president and CEO in July, succeeding Tom Curley, who is retiring after leading the news organization for nine years.

McClatchy owns 30 newspapers, including the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in Texas, The Kansas City Star and The Charlotte Observer in North Carolina. Two of its largest newspapers, The Miami Herald and The Sacramento (Calif.) Bee, are in markets that have been hit especially hard by the national downturn in real estate. Those declines, along with weak auto sales, have hurt advertising.

McClatchy has stayed profitable by cutting expenses. The cuts have included layoffs at its newspapers. Compensation expenses fell 12 percent to $458 million in 2011.

Talamantes joined McClatchy in April 2001 as CFO. Pruitt joined in 1984 as general counsel and was named president in 1995, CEO in 1996 and chairman in 2001.

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