Robert J. Weil, a longtime vice president of operations for The McClatchy Co., will retire at midyear, closing out a newspaper career stretching back to 1967.
Weil’s last day will be June 30. He has been with McClatchy for 21 years.
As one of two VPs of operations, Weil oversees 13 markets in six states and their affiliated digital and print operations.
McClatchy President and CEO Pat Talamantes said, in a statement, that Weil has been “a terrific executive and a steadying influence as McClatchy has undergone tremendous change over the past several years. He helped usher in our digital future and never wavered for a moment in believing that McClatchy’s values and core news mission have critical roles to play in that future.”
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Talamantes said McClatchy will develop a new organizational structure following Weil’s retirement. No successor will be named.
Weil helped oversee the McClatchy’s shift from a newspaper-focused media company to a multimedia information provider in the digital age.
“What strikes me today is that there are so many different ways that readers consume news, and the company has changed to meet those growing needs,” Weil said in a Friday interview. “The consumer’s appetite for news today is greater than it has ever been ... and now we’re providing that on a multimedia platform (as) the largest media company in the region.”
Asked to pinpoint a particular highlight during his McClatchy tenure, Weil said: “There are a lot of great moments, all of them really focused and centered in the comfort and confidence in the teams of management at our papers, and the transformation we have made.”
Today, nearly two-thirds of McClatchy’s revenue is derived from sources other than printed newspaper advertising.
Weil, who will turn 65 in May, joined McClatchy in 1994 as publisher of The Fresno Bee and subsequently moved into senior management with The McClatchy Co., which owns The Sacramento Bee.
From 1992 to 1994, Weil was president and chief operating officer for Persis Media, a privately held company with newspapers in Washington and Tennessee. Weil held other senior management positions with Persis and Gannett Co. from 1973 to 1992.
Weil said his journalism roots date back to his grandfather, a Detroit police reporter in 1910. His family also owned a newspaper, The Times Herald in Port Huron, Mich., where Weil started his newspaper career in the summer of 1967, working as a sports writer. He recalls it as somewhat daunting: “I was a young guy and everybody else had years and years of experience.”
Call The Bee’s Mark Glover, (916) 321-1184.