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McClatchy CEO Gary Pruitt To Become AP Chief Executive - Update

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3/22/2012 12:31 AM ET

Newspaper firm McClatchy Co.'s (MNI: Quote) chairman, president and chief executive Gary Pruitt would leave the company on May 16 to become president and chief executive of The Associated Press, or AP, McClatchy said late Wednesday.

Pruitt, 54, will be succeeded by Patrick Talamantes, McClatchy's vice president, finance and CFO. Talamantes, 47, will assume the title of president and CEO and join the company's Board of Directors. He becomes just the seventh CEO in the 155-year history of the company.

Kevin McClatchy, a director of the company since 1998 and a fifth-generation member of the founding McClatchy family, will become chairman of the Board.

Kevin McClatchy is a former managing general partner and chief executive of the Pittsburgh Pirates. He has also served on Major League Baseball's Executive Council. Before his executive career in baseball, McClatchy spent almost a decade working in the newspaper business. He will be the first member of the family since 1995 to serve as Board chairman.

Pruitt joined McClatchy in 1984 as general counsel. He had a key role in taking the company public in 1988 and in the acquisitions of several newspapers. Pruitt became president in 1995, CEO in 1996 and chairman in 2001.

"I've been a McClatchy employee for 28 years and CEO for the last 16 years. It's been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, and I never anticipated leaving before retirement. I just felt I couldn't pass up this opportunity to lead The Associated Press, one of the world's largest and most trusted news organizations, at such an exciting and pivotal time," Pruitt said.

Kevin McClatchy said on Pruitt, "The Associated Press is lucky to have him, and we wish Gary all the best in his adventures ahead."

Talamantes joined McClatchy in April 2001 as vice president, finance and CFO. Apart from financial operations, Talamantes also managed the company's real estate holdings and information technology. In June 2011, Talamantes assumed additional oversight of McClatchy's Florida operations, including The Miami Herald, the Spanish-language El Nuevo Herald and the Bradenton Herald newspapers.

Prior to joining McClatchy, Talamantes worked for Sinclair Broadcast Group, a television broadcasting company, from 1996 to 2001 and served the last two years as CFO. From 1995 to 1996, Talamantes was treasurer of River City Broadcasting in St. Louis.

MNI closed on Wednesday at $2.94, down $0.01, on a volume of 200,990 shares.

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by RTT Staff Writer

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