McClatchy names four publishers to regional posts

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McClatchy has announced the promotion of four of its publishers to newly created regional positions supervising its 30 local media companies.

Alexandra Villoch, president and publisher of the Miami Herald Media Company, will lead the East Region. Sara Glines, president and publisher of The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., will oversee the Carolinas Region. Tony Berg, president and publisher of The Kansas City Star, will lead the Midwest Region.

Gary Wortel, currently the publisher at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, will become president and publisher of The Sacramento Bee and lead the new West region. Wortel succeeds Cheryl Dell, who announced her retirement this week as publisher in Sacramento after a distinguished 20-year career with the company.

The move is the latest in a series of realignments that have also regionalized or centralized McClatchy's audience, production, human resources and finance divisions, streamlining the company's legacy print operations and refocusing resources on accelerating the company's digital transformation.  In this new structure, local market publishers and general managers will report to the four regional publishers.

"Our new regional publishing structure sharpens our ability to move faster on both a local and national level, and underscores our desire to work differently to accelerate the pace of our digital transition,'' said Craig Forman, McClatchy's president and CEO. "This is an important advance in our overall strategic transformation that heightens our ability to serve our audiences and customers in more effective and efficient ways."

In the East region, Villoch will supervise the Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald and Bradenton Herald in Florida; the Macon Telegraph and Columbus Ledger-Enquirer in Georgia; the Biloxi Sun Herald in Mississippi; the Lexington Herald Leader in Kentucky; and the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pa.

In the Carolinas, Glines will lead The (Raleigh) News & Observer, The (Durham) Herald-Sun and The Charlotte Observer in North Carolina; and The (Rock Hill) Herald, The (Columbia) State, The (Hilton Head) Island Packet, The Beaufort Gazette and The (Myrtle Beach) Sun News in South Carolina.

In the Midwest, Berg will lead The Kansas City Star in Missouri; the Wichita Eagle in Kansas; the Belleville News-Democrat in Illinois; and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in Texas.

In the West, Wortel will oversee The Sacramento Bee, The Fresno Bee, the Merced Sun-Star, The Modesto Bee and The (San Luis Obispo) Tribune, all in California; as well as the (Boise) Idaho Statesman in Idaho; and The (Tacoma) News Tribune, The Olympian, The Bellingham Herald and the Tri-City Herald in Washington.

Berg will be tasked with hiring a publisher for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, which is also conducting a search for an executive editor.

The four regional publishers will assume their duties on April 3 and report to Mark Zieman, McClatchy's vice president of operations.

Each of the four publishers chosen for these expanded roles share exceptional leadership skills, strong digital revenue performance and the ability to embrace change, Zieman said.

"Alex, Sara, Tony and Gary are proven leaders who are passionate about improving our communities, both with journalism that's vital to the lives of our readers as well as marketing solutions that support our advertisers," Zieman said. "They are excited about our digital future, and more importantly they have the skills to lead us there."

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