SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI) shareholders today elected 11 directors to one-year terms and ratified the appointment of Deloitte & Touche LLP as the company's independent registered public accounting firm for 2013.
Shareholders elected Clyde W. Ostler, a former executive with Wells Fargo & Company, as a new Class A director and also re-elected Elizabeth Ballantine and Kathleen Foley Feldstein as Class A directors. Leroy Barnes, Molly Maloney Evangelisti, Brown McClatchy Maloney, Kevin S. McClatchy, William McClatchy, Theodore R. Mitchell, Patrick J. Talamantes and Frederick R. Ruiz were re-elected as Class B directors.
The company also said farewell to S. Donley Ritchey, who retired today from the company's board after nearly 28 years of service.
Kevin McClatchy, the company's chairman of the board, noted that Ritchey had served as a board member since 1985 and that his wisdom and leadership would be missed. "Don has contributed greatly to McClatchy, and we wish him all the best in his retirement," he said.
Talamantes, McClatchy's president and chief executive officer, reviewed the company's results for 2012 and the first quarter of 2013, highlighting the impact of innovation. "What I see throughout McClatchy is innovation," he said. "It's taking place every day – transforming our company for a successful future and keeping our news mission as important and relevant as it's ever been."
Talamantes referenced the progress the company had made on refinancing and reducing its debt in 2012 and early 2013. Talamantes said, "Toward the end of the year, we took advantage of a historically strong bond market and completed the refinancing of a significant portion of our debt. We sold $910 million in new senior secured bonds due in 2022 with an interest rate of 9% and used the proceeds to buy a majority of our senior secured notes due in 2017, which carried a higher interest rate of 11.5%. All but $83.6 million of the 11.5% bonds were retired in December and the remainder was retired in early 2013."
Talamantes noted that debt was reduced in total by $145.9 million in the first quarter of 2013, bringing total debt down to $1.57 billion.
Talamantes also commented on the company's progress in continuing to use updated technology to centralize and standardize systems for greater efficiency and savings. Talamantes said, "Almost all of these systems make use of cloud computing, which lessens the need for frequent and costly hardware and software purchases and enables us to consolidate our IT support across the company."
Talamantes discussed how innovations are also driving new revenue opportunities. "A great example is the new digital subscription initiative we rolled out companywide in 2012. We call it the Plus Program and it is exceeding our early expectations," Talamantes said. "Under our Plus Program, subscribers have the option to select either a digital-only subscription or a bundled subscription which includes both digital and print versions. The Plus Program is on pace to generate approximately $25 million in new revenues this year."
Talamantes reviewed the impact that strategic investments and innovative new products are having on driving McClatchy's industry leading digital performance as well as its various targeted, online products aimed at the local marketplace. Digital advertising revenues now account for almost one quarter of McClatchy's total advertising revenues.
Talamantes added, "We're targeting local and other advertisers with innovative direct marketing products as well, including our growing Print & Deliver and Sunday Select programs. Advertising revenues from both digital and direct marketing now represent more than 38 percent of McClatchy's total advertising revenues. That growth and diversification is crucial to our future success."
Talamantes also spoke to the critical importance of high-quality journalism. "McClatchy's news mission, of course, remains fundamental," he said. "It's who we are and it's what keeps us relevant in the modern media mix both with readers and advertisers now and into the future. Our journalism continues to be recognized as some of the best in the business."
The full text of Talamantes' speech as well as a video of his presentation can be found at www.mcclatchy.com.
The McClatchy Company is a leading news and information provider, offering a wide array of print and digital products in each of the markets it serves. As the third largest newspaper company in the country, McClatchy's operations include 30 daily newspapers, community newspapers, websites, mobile news and advertising, niche publications, direct marketing and direct mail services. The company's largest newspapers include the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Sacramento Bee, The Kansas City Star, The Miami Herald, The Charlotte Observer and The (Raleigh) News & Observer. 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, 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: McClatchy may not generate cash from operations, or otherwise, necessary to reduce debt or meet debt covenants as expected; McClatchy may not successfully implement circulation strategies designed to increase circulation revenue, including the Plus Program, and may experience decreased circulation volumes or subscriptions through the Plus Program; McClatchy may experience diminished revenues from retail, classified, national and direct marketing advertising; 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; 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, including changes in postal rates or agreements; changes in interest rates; changes in pension assets and liabilities; changes in factors that impact pension contribution requirements, including, without limitation, the value of the company-owned real property that McClatchy has contributed to its pension plan; 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; 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 Dec. 30, 2012, 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