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McClatchy Names Mark Zieman Vice President, Operations

Released 05/18/2011

Mark Zieman, president and publisher of The Kansas City Star since 2008, today was named vice president, operations by The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI). His appointment is effective May 31.

Zieman, 50, joins McClatchy's senior management team and will oversee 13 daily newspapers and their affiliated operations in seven states – Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina and South Carolina. He will be based in Sacramento.

Zieman replaces Frank Whittaker, a 26-year company executive, who is retiring May 27. Bob Weil, McClatchy's other vice president for operations, will now oversee 14 daily newspapers and their affiliated operations in Alaska, California, Idaho, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington. Pat Talamantes, vice president, finance and chief financial officer, will assume oversight of McClatchy's Florida operations, which include The Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald and the Bradenton Herald in addition to his current responsibilities as CFO.

"We're thrilled to add Mark to our executive team," said Gary Pruitt, McClatchy's chairman and chief executive. "Mark has done a terrific job as publisher in Kansas City, navigating a tough economy and positioning the paper for a successful future that includes digital, print and niche publications.

"As a longtime journalist and former executive editor, Mark is deeply committed to high-quality journalism and public service – values at the core of McClatchy's tradition and mission," Pruitt said. "Mark has been very successful in maintaining these values in the digital environment and helping advertisers grow their businesses online through The Kansas City Star's many digital products and services. Mark will be instrumental in helping additional McClatchy newspapers manage the transition to a successful print and digital future."

Zieman, who was born in Kansas and grew up in Kansas City, has spent most of his career at The Kansas City Star. He began there as an editorial intern in 1982 while pursuing a journalism degree at the University of Kansas. After graduating in 1984, Zieman joined the Houston bureau of The Wall Street Journal but returned to The Kansas City Star as an investigative reporter in 1986 and rose through the ranks.

He became projects editor in 1989, managing editor in 1992, editor and vice president in 1997 and president and publisher in 2008.

As projects editor, Zieman directed the paper's examination of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that won the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.

While editor, The Kansas City Star won numerous national awards in virtually every area of journalism, including two George Polk awards, the Goldsmith Investigative Reporting Prize, several National Headliner Awards, many awards from the Society of News Design, and three Associated Press Sports Editors "Triple Crown" citations for the best sports section in the country.

During his tenure as publisher, The Kansas City Star has become McClatchy's largest newspaper in terms of daily and Sunday circulation, averaging 214,000 copies on weekdays and 308,000 on Sundays.

The newspaper's digital revenue grew by 25 percent during Zieman's first year as publisher and the newspaper has continued to be among the company's leaders in total online revenue growth and digital innovation. The paper has diversified its products and revenue through niche publications such as INK, a free weekly alternative magazine staffed by newsroom and advertising employees in their 20s and 30s that has become Kansas City's largest alternative newsweekly.

All the while, the paper has maintained its commitment to quality journalism.

In 2010, the paper won the prestigious Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award and an Investigative Reporters and Editors Award for its five-part series on human trafficking in the United States titled "A New Slavery." In February, The Kansas City Star won a McClatchy President's Award for its Midwest Democracy Project, a website devoted to elections and politics coverage with contributions from a network of media partners and student journalists.

"I love the Star and Kansas City and would have been happy serving both forever," Zieman said. "But the future of newspapers in our democracy is now being rewritten and re-imagined in communities all across our country. McClatchy is embracing that future in many exciting ways. To help lead that effort, yet still oversee my hometown paper, is the perfect opportunity for me."

Zieman has held several leadership roles in the community and the newspaper industry.

He currently serves on the board of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and the Civic Council of Kansas City. He is a trustee of the William Allen White Foundation at the University of Kansas, a member of the Helzberg School of Management Advisory Board at Rockhurst University, and a past board member of the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism at the University of Maryland. He has twice served as a juror for the Pulitzer Prizes.

In addition to his degree from the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas, Zieman holds an Executive MBA from Kansas City's Rockhurst University. He is married and has four daughters.

A search for Zieman's successor at The Kansas City Star is under way.

About McClatchy

The McClatchy Company is the third largest newspaper company in the United States, publishing 30 daily newspapers, 43 non-dailies, and direct marketing and direct mail operations. McClatchy also operates leading local websites in each of its markets which extend its audience reach. The websites offer users comprehensive news and information, advertising, e-commerce and other services. Together with its newspapers and direct marketing products, these interactive operations make McClatchy the leading local media company in each of its premium high growth markets. McClatchy-owned newspapers include The Miami Herald, The Sacramento Bee, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Kansas City Star, The Charlotte Observer and The News & Observer (Raleigh).

McClatchy also owns a portfolio of premium digital assets, including 15% of CareerBuilder, the nation's largest online job site, 25.6% of Classified Ventures, a newspaper industry partnership that offers two of the nation's premier classified websites: the auto website Cars.com and the rental site Apartments.com and 33.3% of HomeFinder, which operates the real estate website HomeFinder.com. McClatchy is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol MNI.

SOURCE The McClatchy Company