McClatchy announces digital restructuring

The McClatchy Co. announced a reorganization of its corporate hierarchy Thursday as the owner of The Sacramento Bee speeds up its transition to a digital company in the face of declining prospects for its print newspapers.

Sacramento-based McClatchy said the reorganization has two main components: Integrating its McClatchy Interactive division into the heart of the company, and expanding its sales and marketing efforts.

“Today’s announcement is another step forward in our digital transformation,” said Pat Talamantes, president and chief executive, in a prepared statement.

The announcement came one day after McClatchy reported another round of lower quarterly profits and pledged to investment analysts that 2015 would bring a significant acceleration of the company’s digital strategy. Talamantes told the analysts that McClatchy would also seek to take more cost out of the production and distribution of the company’s 29 printed papers.

The moves coincide with the previously announced retirement of Bob Weil, one of McClatchy’s two vice presidents for operations, who is leaving the company June 30.

The other vice president for operations, Mark Zieman, will take on additional roles in overseeing the 29 papers, the corporate digital revenue development team and corporate production.

Zieman will also oversee an expanded corporate advertising department.

Chris Hendricks, the company’s vice president of interactive media, will become vice president of products, marketing and innovation. He will be in charge of audience development, business development, product management, mobile initiatives, marketing, corporate communications and external partnerships.

Meanwhile, the company’s McClatchy Interactive division, based in Raleigh, N.C., will be integrated into other company operations. It comes 20 years after McClatchy bought the News & Observer newspaper in Raleigh, one of the pioneers in digital media.

When McClatchy Interactive “was formed in 1995, we didn’t know what our digital future had in store for us,” Talamantes said. “Twenty years later, we are a digital media company.”

As an example, McClatchy websites and mobile apps drew 45.2 million unique visitors last month, according to Talamantes. Meanwhile, print advertising now generates just 38 percent of McClatchy’s total revenue.

Call The Bee’s Dale Kasler, (916) 321-1066. Follow him on Twitter @dakasler.