SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI) shareholders today re-elected 12 directors to one-year terms and said farewell to Joan F. Lane, who retired today from the company's board after 21 years of service.
Shareholders re-elected Elizabeth Ballantine, Kathleen Foley Feldstein and S. Donley Ritchey as Class A directors and re-elected Leroy Barnes, Molly Maloney Evangelisti, Larry Jinks, Brown McClatchy Maloney, Kevin S. McClatchy, William McClatchy, Theodore R. Mitchell, Gary B. Pruitt and Frederick R. Ruiz as Class B directors. Shareholders also ratified the appointment of Deloitte and Touche LLP as the company's independent registered public accounting firm for 2010.
Pruitt, McClatchy's chairman and chief executive officer, noted that Joan Lane had served as a board member since March 1989 and that her wisdom and leadership would be missed. "She has contributed greatly to McClatchy, and we wish her all the best in her retirement," he said.
Pruitt also reviewed the company's results for 2009 and the first quarter of 2010, citing progressive improvement in the company's advertising revenues over the past three quarters. "It's becoming clear that we're much closer to the end of this historic recession than the beginning," he said. Pruitt highlighted the continuing growth of the company's digital business with online audiences and revenues increasing in 2009 and in the first quarter of 2010.
Pruitt also pointed to McClatchy's significant journalistic accomplishments with The Kansas City Star winning the Robert F. Kennedy Award, the Belleville News-Democrat winning the George Polk Award and McClatchy Washington Bureau being named as a Pulitzer Prize finalist for national reporting.
"The Pulitzer Prize, the Robert F. Kennedy Award and the George Polk Award are widely recognized as three of the most prestigious national awards in all of journalism," Pruitt said. "McClatchy won two of the three awards this year and came very close to a sweep. That all this work was produced in the difficult environment of 2009 speaks to McClatchy's unwavering commitment to public service journalism and also to the tremendous talent, dedication and focus on the part of McClatchy's journalists. They continue to inspire us and make us proud."
Pruitt reviewed the company's progress in paying down debt, which has declined more than $216 million from the beginning of 2009 though the end of the first quarter in 2010, and highlighted the company's refinancing in February 2010, which extended a majority of McClatchy's debt maturities to 2017. Concluding, Pruitt said McClatchy "will continue to execute on a strategy that is serving us well:
- Publish newspapers and operate digital businesses in growth markets;
- Intensively focus on growing ad revenues, especially digital revenues;
- Provide relevant, high quality journalism;
- Focus on growing local audiences;
- Permanently restructure our costs;
- Reduce debt; and
- Continue our transition to a hybrid print and digital local news company."
The full text of Mr. Pruitt's speech is available at (www.mcclatchy.com).
The McClatchy Company is the third largest newspaper company in the United States, publishing 30 daily newspapers, 43 non-dailies, and direct marketing and direct mail operations. McClatchy also operates leading local websites in each of its markets which extend its audience reach. The websites offer users comprehensive news and information, advertising, e-commerce and other services. Together with its newspapers and direct marketing products, these interactive operations make McClatchy the leading local media company in each of its premium high growth markets. McClatchy-owned newspapers include The Miami Herald, The Sacramento Bee, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Kansas City Star, The Charlotte Observer, and The News & Observer (Raleigh).
McClatchy also owns a portfolio of premium digital assets, including 14.4% of CareerBuilder, the nation's largest online job site, 25.6% of Classified Ventures, a newspaper industry partnership that offers two of the nation's premier classified websites: the auto website, cars.com, and the rental site, Apartments.com and 33.3% of HomeFinder, LLC which operates the real estate website HomeFinder.com. McClatchy is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol MNI.
Statements in this press release regarding future financial and operating results, including revenues, anticipated savings from cost reduction efforts, future dividend payments, cash flows, debt levels, as well as future opportunities for the company and any other statements about management's future expectations, beliefs, goals, plans or prospects constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any statements that are not statements of historical fact (including statements containing the words "believes," "plans," "anticipates," "expects," "estimates" and similar expressions) should also be considered to be forward-looking statements. There are a number of important risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements, including: the duration and depth of the economic recession; McClatchy may not generate cash from operations, or otherwise, necessary to reduce debt or meet debt covenants as expected; McClatchy may not consummate contemplated transactions to enable debt reduction on anticipated terms or at all; McClatchy may not achieve its expense reduction targets or may do harm to its operations in attempting to achieve such targets; McClatchy's operations have been, and will likely continue to be, adversely affected by competition, including competition from internet publishing and advertising platforms; the Company's inability to continue to satisfy the New York Stock Exchange's qualitative and quantitative listing standards for continued listing; increases in the cost of newsprint; bankruptcies or financial strain of its major advertising customers; litigation or any potential litigation; geo-political uncertainties including the risk of war; changes in printing and distribution costs from anticipated levels; changes in interest rates; changes in pension assets and liabilities; increased consolidation among major retailers in our markets or other events depressing the level of advertising; our inability to negotiate and obtain favorable terms under collective bargaining agreements with unions; competitive action by other companies; decreased circulation and diminished revenues from retail, classified and national advertising; and other factors, many of which are beyond our control; as well as the other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's publicly filed documents, including the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 27, 2009, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. McClatchy disclaims any intention and assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking information contained in this release.
SOURCE The McClatchy Company