Released: 05/16/2012SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The McClatchy Company (NYSE-MNI) shareholders today elected 11 directors to one-year terms, ratified the appointment of Deloitte & Touche LLP as the company's independent registered public accounting firm for 2012 and approved the company's 2012 Omnibus Incentive Plan.
Shareholders re-elected Elizabeth Ballantine, Kathleen Foley Feldstein and S. Donley Ritchey as Class A directors. Leroy Barnes, Molly Maloney Evangelisti, Brown McClatchy Maloney, Kevin S. McClatchy, William McClatchy, Theodore R. Mitchell and Frederick R. Ruiz were re-elected as Class B directors and Patrick J. Talamantes, McClatchy's new president and chief executive officer (CEO), was elected as a new Class B director. Talamantes replaces Gary B. Pruitt, McClatchy's outgoing CEO, as a Class B director due to Pruitt's previously announced resignation as chairman, president and chief executive.
Kevin S. McClatchy, a director of McClatchy since 1998 and a fifth-generation member of the founding McClatchy family, became chairman of the board effective today.
Talamantes thanked Pruitt for his years of service to the company and reiterated his commitment to lead the company forward. Talamantes reviewed the company's results for 2011 and the strategies for 2012. Talamantes said, "It's still the same management team that's powering this company's strategy, and it's the same playbook that we've been using these past several years. McClatchy's strategic focuses remain on:
Talamantes reviewed the company's digital success noting that McClatchy has grown its business through digital investments and continues to pursue and develop new digital products and offerings. Talamantes said, "The biggest driver of our digital business, which is digital-only advertising, remained strong, up 14% in the first quarter of 2012. Total digital advertising was up 2.7% in the first quarter of 2012, representing 22% of our total advertising revenue among the highest percentages in our industry."
Talamantes also reviewed the company's continuing journalistic achievements. Tom Lasseter, McClatchy's Beijing bureau chief, was honored with the top foreign reporting award from the Society of Professional Journalists for 2011 coverage of human rights abuses by the Chinese government and followed up that accomplishment by winning the 2012 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for foreign reporting. The RFK Award, one of the top prizes in all of journalism, salutes outstanding reporting on human rights and social justice. McClatchy has won an RFK Award each of the past four years and five out of the past six years.
Talamantes also said, "In addition, the Lexington Herald-Leader received a coveted Scripps Howard Award for editorial writing relating to Kentucky's powerful coal mining industry. And The Miami Herald was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal for Public Service for its series "Neglected to Death," which revealed deplorable conditions in Florida's assisted living facilities extraordinary journalism that helped changed state law and literally saved lives. Since 2006, in fact, The Miami Herald has been named a Pulitzer Prize finalist five times and has won the prize twice."
Talamantes reviewed the company's progress in paying down debt. The company repaid $140 million in 2011 and has repaid an additional $70.5 million thus far in 2012. Total debt now stands at $1.56 billion.
Concluding, Talamantes said, "I'd like to assure you as the former CFO and as the new CEO The McClatchy Company is in strong financial shape and getting stronger. We are poised to benefit from improvement in the economy and we will continue to work and reorganize our operations to meet the demands and garner the opportunities of the digital age.
"The road ahead is an exciting one thanks to the foundation put in place under Gary Pruitt's leadership and to the hard work being carried out each day by our employees, in my opinion the most resilient, capable and dedicated in our industry.
"Together, we are successfully navigating a difficult economy and reshaping the company for a prosperous and vibrant future a future where our communities, our country and our democracy will continue to benefit from McClatchy journalism."
The full text of Talamantes' speech is available at www.mcclatchy.com.
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, McClatchy's operations include 30 daily newspapers, community newspapers, websites, mobile news and advertising, niche publications, direct marketing and direct mail services. The company's 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.
Statements in this press release regarding future financial and operating results, including revenues, anticipated savings from cost reduction efforts, cash flows, debt levels, as well as 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 risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements, including: McClatchy may not generate cash from operations, or otherwise, necessary to reduce debt or meet debt covenants as expected; McClatchy may experience decreased circulation and diminished revenues from retail, classified and national advertising; McClatchy may not achieve its expense reduction targets or may do harm to its operations in attempting to achieve such targets; McClatchy's operations have been, and will likely continue to be, adversely affected by competition, including competition from internet publishing and advertising platforms; increases in the cost of newsprint; bankruptcies or financial strain of its major advertising customers; litigation or any potential litigation; geo-political uncertainties including the risk of war; changes in printing and distribution costs from anticipated levels; changes in interest rates; changes in pension assets and liabilities; changes in factors that impact pension contribution requirements, including, without limitation, the value of the company-owned real property that McClatchy has contributed to its pension plan; increased consolidation among major retailers in our markets or other events depressing the level of advertising; our inability to negotiate and obtain favorable terms under collective bargaining agreements with unions; competitive action by other companies; and other factors, many of which are beyond our control; as well as the other risks detailed from time to time in the company's publicly filed documents, including the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 25, 2011, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. McClatchy disclaims any intention and assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking information contained in this release.
SOURCE The McClatchy Company