SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI) today announced that Orage Quarles III, president & publisher of The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., for the past sixteen years, will retire on June 3, 2016. A search for his replacement has begun.
Quarles' leadership and vision have been instrumental to Raleigh's successful publication diversification and digital transformation strategies. During his tenure, the company expanded its local community-focused publications from five to 10, launched Walter Magazine and, most recently, saw its daily, weekly and magazine publications receive McClatchy President's Awards for outstanding journalism.
"I'm one of those lucky people who found their career passion early in life," Quarles said. "Linda and I have enjoyed every community that we have lived in and are fortunate to end this chapter of our lives in Raleigh. It's been a heck of a ride."
Quarles began his news industry career with the Gannett-owned San Bernardino Sun in 1969 and became its ad director in 1984. Three years later, he became publisher of The Coloradoan in Fort Collins, CO. During his time in Colorado, Quarles was named Gannett's publisher of the year. In 1990, he was promoted to publisher of the Stockton Record in Stockton, CA.
In early 1993, Quarles joined McClatchy as publisher of The Herald in Rock Hill, S.C., and director of Carolina operations overseeing the McClatchy-owned Island Packet in Hilton Head, S.C., and Beaufort Gazette in Beaufort, S.C. He served in this capacity until 1996 when he was promoted and became the first publisher of the Modesto Bee in Modesto, CA. He served as publisher there until being promoted to publisher of The News & Observer in 2000.
Throughout his career, Quarles has been a strong advocate for the free press and a champion of diversity. He has served on the boards the Associated Press (1994-2003), Newspaper Association of America (1992-2003) and Freedom Forum. During his tenure with the NAA, he served as the organization's chair from 2001 to 2002. Quarles is also past Chairman of the University of North Carolina's School of Media and Journalism.
Quarles' career-long commitment to journalism and passion for mentorship was recognized by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) in 1994 with his induction into its Region III Hall of Fame, and again in 2002 when Editor & Publisher magazine named him the newspaper industry's Publisher of the Year.
"Orage represents the very best traits of McClatchy publishers," said Pat Talamantes, president and CEO of McClatchy. "He is entrepreneurial and focused. He exhibits class and grace in all situations. Orage will fight for his people, his community and his ideals. All of us at McClatchy are so thankful to have had him as a colleague and mentor. I congratulate him on his extraordinarily impactful career."
Quarles, 65, currently serves on the board of trustees for the North Carolina Museum of History and the Dix Conservancy. He and his wife, Linda, have been married for 43 years. The couple has two daughters, Amber and Alicia, and two grandchildren.
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SOURCE The McClatchy Company