Business & Real Estate

McClatchy to close overseas news bureaus

The McClatchy Co. said Monday it’s closing its four international bureaus as part of a broader reorganization of its news operations.

Sacramento-based McClatchy, which owns The Sacramento Bee and 28 other newspapers, also said it is reorganizing its Washington bureau to focus more on politics, regional news and digital initiatives. The changes were disclosed in a memo from Anders Gyllenhaal, the company’s vice president for news, to McClatchy editors and publishers.

The move eliminates bureaus in Istanbul, Beijing, Mexico City and Berlin. The company also is closing a news office in Irbil, Iraq, which is staffed by contract employees.

Company spokesman Peter Tira said the foreign correspondents are expected to return to the United States to work for McClatchy in the coming weeks. In his memo, Gyllenhaal said McClatchy newspapers will continue to “undertake international projects on in-depth stories, working with individual McClatchy newsrooms and with partners around the world.”

McClatchy, like most other newspaper publishers and traditional media, has been struggling with declining revenue and profit as readers and advertisers migrate to new competitors on the Internet. But company officials said McClatchy is making the changes to better support the mission of its individual newspapers.

“It’s not cost cutting,” Gyllenhaal said in an interview. “We’re closing four foreign bureaus in order to use those resources in other ways.” McClatchy inherited its international bureaus from Knight Ridder Inc., the newspaper chain it bought in 2006.

As for the Washington bureau, Gyllenhaal said McClatchy will maintain certain national beats, such as national politics and coverage of the White House, but will “increase our emphasis on regional reporting, which is obviously where our papers benefit the most.”

McClatchy shares fell 3 cents, to close at $1.39, in New York Stock Exchange trading.

Dale Kasler: 916-321-1066, @dakasler