William H. Fleet Named New Publisher of the Bradenton Herald
William H. Fleet Named New Publisher of the Bradenton Herald
The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI) today named William H. Fleet publisher and president of The Bradenton Herald in Florida.
Since 2004, Fleet has been group publisher for Times Community News, where he is responsible for the operations of five Los Angeles Times-owned community newspapers. He is also president of the California Newspaper Publishers Association, the newspaper trade group that represents daily and weekly newspapers in the state.
Fleet assumes his new publishing duties July 19.
"Will is a proven leader, a veteran newspaper publisher with a passion for the First Amendment," said Gary Pruitt, McClatchy's chairman and chief executive officer. "We are pleased he is bringing his talent and experience to McClatchy. He will be leading a terrific paper in Bradenton."
Prior to joining Times Community News, Fleet spent almost two decades as a publisher for several Southern California newspapers. From 2001 to 2003, he was publisher of the Santa Barbara News-Press. From 1993 to 2001, he was publisher of The Signal in Santa Clarita. From 1987 to 1993, he was publisher of Los Angeles Independent Newspapers.
"Will has a strong track record of success in several fiercely competitive markets," said Frank Whittaker, vice president, operations, who oversees McClatchy's Florida newspapers. "He has a sound vision of how a top-quality newspaper can serve as the foundation for a successful local media franchise. We are delighted that he will bring his skills to the exciting market of Bradenton."
Fleet, 48, was born in the San Francisco Bay Area and raised in the Los Angeles area.
He first became interested in the newspaper business as a teenager during Watergate. He landed his first, full-time newspaper job at 18, working as a sportswriter for the Antelope Valley Press in Palmdale. He held a variety of newsroom jobs there while putting himself through college and earned a bachelor's degree in journalism in 1980 from California State University, Northridge.
Fleet said he was excited about joining The Bradenton Herald and moving to Florida's Suncoast.
"We're joining a winning team," he said. "The Bradenton Herald is a good newspaper and McClatchy is a great company. My wife, Jennifer, and I have visited Bradenton and found it to be a growing, vibrant, beautiful area. We're excited about becoming part of the community."
Over his career, Fleet has been a leader in the community and the newspaper industry. He is president of the Glendale Scholarship Endowment, which provides financial assistance to college-bound students who've overcome obstacles in their lives. He is a former president of the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce.
He has spent the past 16 years on the board of directors for the California Newspaper Publishers Association, shaping the organization and being an advocate for the First Amendment.
Fleet has two adult children, Tiffany, 26 and Jason, 23, from a previous marriage.
About The McClatchy Company
On June 27, 2006, The McClatchy Company acquired Knight-Ridder, Inc. At the time, Knight Ridder published 32 daily newspapers in 29 U.S. markets, with a circulation of 3.4 million daily and 4.5 million Sunday, along with a variety of investments in internet and technology companies.
As part of that announcement, McClatchy said it planned to sell 11 of the acquired newspapers that do not fit with the company's longstanding operating strategies and acquisition criteria, and to sell the St. Paul Pioneer Press due to anticipated antitrust concerns involving McClatchy's Minneapolis Star Tribune. On June 27, 2006, McClatchy completed the sales of the Duluth (MN) News Tribune; the Grand Forks (ND) Herald; the Aberdeen (SD) American News; and the Ft. Wayne (IN) News-Sentinel and a 75% interest in the Fort Wayne Joint Operating Agency.
Upon completion of the remaining divestitures, McClatchy will include 32 daily newspapers and approximately 50 non-dailies. Papers added through this transaction include The Miami Herald, The Kansas City Star, Fort Worth Star- Telegram and The Charlotte Observer. They will join McClatchy's 12 papers serving cities including Minneapolis, MN; Sacramento, CA; and Raleigh, NC. In addition, McClatchy combined with Knight Ridder has an expanded network of valuable internet assets.
SAFE HARBOR FOR FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
Statements in this press release regarding the transactions between McClatchy and each of Knight Ridder, MediaNews, Hearst, Sound Publishing Holdings, Inc., Philadelphia Media Holdings LLC and The Wilkes-Barre Publishing Company Inc., the expected timetable for completing the remaining transactions, future financial and operating results, benefits and synergies of the transactions, future opportunities for the company and any other statements about management's future expectations, beliefs, goals, plans or prospects constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any statements that are not statements of historical fact (including statements containing the words "believes," "plans," "anticipates," "expects," estimates and similar expressions) should also be considered to be forward-looking statements. There are a number of important factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements, including: the ability to consummate the remaining transactions, the ability of McClatchy to successfully integrate Knight Ridder's operations and employees; the ability to realize anticipated synergies and cost savings; and the other factors described in McClatchy's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 25, 2005 and the final Prospectus/Proxy Statement/Information Statement contained in McClatchy's Registration Statement on Form S-4 (Registration No. 333-133321). McClatchy disclaims any intention or obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of developments occurring after the date of this document.