Gregg McConnell Named Publisher of Tri-City Herald
The McClatchy Company (NSYE: MNI) today named veteran newspaper executive Gregg McConnell as president and publisher of the Tri-City Herald in Southeastern Washington. His appointment is effective Oct. 24.
Since 2009, McConnell has been group publisher for three MediaNews Group-owned newspapers in Northern California the daily Enterprise-Record in Chico and the Oroville Mercury-Register and the thrice-weekly Paradise Post. McConnell, 54, has held several key management and executive roles at newspapers in California, Washington and Montana over a 36-year newspaper career.
McConnell replaces Rufus M. Friday, who was appointed president and publisher of McClatchy's Lexington Herald-Leader in May.
"We are delighted to welcome Gregg to McClatchy and the Tri-City Herald, which will benefit from his leadership, experience and passion for community journalism," said Gary Pruitt, McClatchy's chairman and chief executive.
Born and raised in Western Montana, McConnell began his newspaper career in 1975, signing on with his hometown weekly in Polson, Mont., as a reporter and photographer. Months later, he moved across the state to Eastern Montana as a reporter and photographer for the twice-weekly Glendive Ranger-Review. His first management job arrived in 1977 as the editor and general manager of a free-distribution weekly in Ronan, Mont.
In 1979, McConnell joined Scripps League Newspapers as an advertising director in Hamilton, Mont. While still in his 20s, Scripps League Newspapers promoted McConnell to publisher of a small daily in Taft, Calif., and later appointed him as publisher of its larger daily in Petaluma, Calif.
Other executive and publishing opportunities took McConnell to Washington, including five years as the general manager for nondaily operations at Skagit Publishing in Mount Vernon from 2000 to 2005. From 2002 to 2005, McConnell served on the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association Board of Directors.
In 2005, McConnell joined MediaNews Group and returned to Northern California as publisher of the Lake County Record-Bee and its related operations. In 2008, MediaNews Group promoted McConnell to I-80 group publisher, where he was responsible for two small dailies, The Reporter in Vacaville and the Daily Democrat in Woodland. In 2009, McConnell was promoted again to group publisher for MediaNews Group-owned newspapers in Chico, Oroville and Paradise.
"Gregg has a wonderful and rich background leading several small to mid-sized daily newspapers. That kind of training and experience is invaluable," said Bob Weil, McClatchy vice president, operations. "Publishers at smaller to mid-sized papers are deeply involved with every facet of the operations from traditional print products to growing digital opportunities, from custom publishing to community relations. Gregg brings that holistic skill set and outlook to the publisher's job in Tri-Cities."
McConnell said he was excited to return to Washington and join the team at the Tri-City Herald.
"Having worked in the newspaper industry in Washington state for a number of years, I'm familiar with the Herald's reputation for quality journalism and service to the community," McConnell said. "I look forward to playing a role in the continuation of that good work."
McConnell and his wife, Diane, have two adult sons, one living in the Everett, Wash., area and the other in Japan.
The McClatchy Company is a leading news and information provider, offering a wide array of print and digital products in each of the markets it serves. As the third largest newspaper company in the country, McClatchys operations include 30 daily newspapers, community newspapers, websites, mobile news and advertising, niche publications, direct marketing and direct mail services. The companys largest newspapers include The Miami Herald, The Sacramento Bee, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Kansas City Star, The Charlotte Observer and The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. McClatchy is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol MNI.