McClatchy CEO Gary Pruitt may have engineered last year’s $4.6 billion takeover of Knight Ridder Inc., but he has not been able to prevent his company’s stock from a 78% price plunge. Under his watch, McClatchy lost $1.46 billion since the beginning of 2006. Despite the grim outlook, the Wall Street Journal reports the McClatchy family continues to unanimously support Pruitt.
Pruitt believes the company will recover from its slump, with the help of a new deal with Yahoo Inc. , which he hopes will bring visitors and ads to his newspapers’ Web sites. He also plans to sell off some nonnewspaper operations and eliminate some non-journalist full-time employees, as part of his cost-control strategy.
McClatchy is now the nation’s third-largest newspaper publisher. It is also one of the last of the large, family-controlled chains, with the McClatchy family controlling more than 80% of the voting stock.