about  /   archives  /   contact  /   subscribe  /   twitter    
Share this entry
Make this entry better

What are we missing? Is there a key link we skipped, or a part of the story we got wrong?

Let us know — we’re counting on you to help Encyclo get better.

Put Encyclo on your site
Embed this Encyclo entry in your blog or webpage by copying this code into your HTML:

Key links:
Primary website:
mcclatchy.com
Primary Twitter:
@McClatchyCo

Editor’s Note: Encyclo has not been regularly updated since August 2014, so information posted here is likely to be out of date and may be no longer accurate. It’s best used as a snapshot of the media landscape at that point in time.

The McClatchy Company is the nation’s third-largest newspaper company, with 29 daily newspapers including the Kansas City Star, the Sacramento Bee, and the Miami Herald.

McClatchy is a publicly traded company based in Sacramento, Calif., where its flagship paper, the Sacramento Bee, was founded in 1857. The company was owned by the McClatchy family until 1989.

The company is known for the quality of its national and international reporting. Knight Ridder’s Washington bureau, which merged with McClatchy’s in 2006, has received praise and awards for its reporting in the runup to the Iraq War. The company also runs five foreign bureaus, sharing expenses with the Christian Science Monitor.

McClatchy bought the larger Knight Ridder chain of newspapers in 2006, selling off 12 of those newspapers shortly after the purchase, including the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the San Jose Mercury News, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Several months later, McClatchy sold the Minneapolis Star Tribune, which it had owned since 1998. The company sold the Anchorage Daily News to the local journalism website Alaska Dispatch in 2014.

McClatchy’s purchase of Knight Ridder was initially welcomed, as the company had developed a good reputation among corporate newspaper publishers. But the purchase overwhelmed McClatchy with debt, leading the company to write off much of the sale costs, cut thousands of jobs, and face the threat of stock delisting.

The company’s stock price plunged to pennies on the dollar in 2009 but began to recover thereafter, stringing together four straight quarters of profitability through early 2010. McClatchy leads the newspaper industry in online traffic growth and percentage of total revenue derived from its websites, but it also carried $1.9 billion in long-term debt as of 2010. It also reported a loss in the first quarter of 2012. By later that year, its pension plan was reportedly underfunded by $383 million.

McClatchy announced in May 2012 that it would begin testing online paid-content plans in partnership with Press+, hinting at a model built around multiplatform subscription packages. The company planned to pilot paywalls at five papers in the third quarter of 2012 and spread them to the rest of its papers by the end of the year. One of its first major paywalls was unveiled at the Sacramento Bee in September 2012. McClatchy reported 22,000 digital subscribers across its company in April 2013 and $25 million in new revenue through the program in May 2013.

In February 2011, the company announced plans to make substantial cuts after further declines in overall ad revenue, even as online ad sales climbed slightly higher than print ads.

Peers, allies, & competitors:
Recent Nieman Lab coverage:
April 29, 2019 / Christine Schmidt
Product teams have taken national news organizations by storm. What’s happening locally? — When you’re trying to pilot a newsletter/build out a membership program/tweak the calls to action on your news organization’s website, it often helps to have one person (or team) in charge of making those cal...
April 18, 2019 / Ken Doctor
Newsonomics: The newspaper industry is thirsty for liquidity as it tries to merge its way out of trouble — “People think nothing is happening, but that’s the farthest thing from the truth. Everybody is talking to everybody.” That’s the best quick summation I can offer of the first few months of what I ...
March 15, 2019 / Dan Gillmor
Can our corrections catch up to our mistakes as they spread across social media? — During the second week of February, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram published a column that turned out to be wrong. What happened next was the catalyst for an experiment in journalistic transparency that we believe has huge...
Feb. 11, 2019 / Ken Doctor
Newsonomics: In the Consolidation Games, enter the bankers — The bankers are now hired. Is the early 2019 newspaper chain M&A face-off now getting serious? It’s reminiscent of an earlier brand of warfare. Newspaper chains — all cutting desperately, each facing a short...
Feb. 1, 2019 / Ken Doctor
Newsonomics: Amid screaming alarms, consolidation mania turns feverish — Alden’s going to snatch Gannett! No, Gannett’s going to turn the tables and buy Alden’s Digital First Media! But wait, Gannett will reject Alden — is that a real offer? — and turn its attention to merging with ...

Recently around the web, from Mediagazer:

Primary author: Mark Coddington. Main text last updated: April 10, 2014.
Make this entry better
How could this entry improve? What's missing, unclear, or wrong?
Name (optional)
Email (optional)
Explore: Gannett
Gannett logo

Gannett is the United States’ largest media company and newspaper publisher. Gannett is a publicly traded company based in McLean, Va., the site of USA Today, its flagship paper and by far its largest publication. Gannett owns more than 80 daily newspapers in the United States, including the Arizona Republic, Indianapolis Star, Detroit Free Press, Tennessean,…

Put Encyclo on your site
Embed this Encyclo entry in your blog or webpage by copying this code into your HTML:

Encyclo is made possible by a grant from the Knight Foundation.
The Nieman Journalism Lab is a collaborative attempt to figure out how quality journalism can survive and thrive in the Internet age.
Some rights reserved. Copyright information »