Thursday, December 4, 2008

Howard Weaver, McClatchy VP for news, leaving by the end of the month

Sacramento Bee:
Howard Weaver said today that he is retiring as vice president of news for The McClatchy Co., ending an extraordinary journalism career that won him two Pulitzer Prizes.

Weaver, 58, will leave The Bee's parent at year's end. He said he "always wanted to have a Phase 2 career," although he hasn't yet figured out what that next phase will bring. He might try some non-journalistic writing, he said.

"It's exhilarating rather than scary," he said.

A former Bee editor, Weaver oversees McClatchy's news bureaus in Washington and overseas, as well as the company's interest in McClatchy-Tribune Information Services, a news operation jointly owned by Tribune Co. of Chicago. He also consults with the top editors of every McClatchy newspaper, and has been an ardent cheerleader in the company's drive to embrace the Internet.

"Howard wholeheartedly embraced the digital age and saw an important place in it for McClatchy journalism," said McClatchy Chairman and Chief Executive Gary Pruitt. He said the company will look for a replacement.

Weaver's only regret about retiring is "a sense of walking away in the middle of a fight," he said.

That's a reference to the challenges confronting newspapers as the economy sinks and business bleeds away to the Web. McClatchy's own profits, revenue and stock price have dropped sharply in the past two years, and some analysts have questioned whether newspapers can survive.

Weaver said the next year or two will be extremely tough, but he's convinced "there's a stable, prosperous place out there where an independent McClatchy Co. can practice public service journalism."

In November I noted several Gannett executives had started announcing their "retirements" and wondered what was taking McClatchy so long. Alot of people noticed McClatchy had lopped off more than 20 percent of its rank and file over the last year, but no executives.


Anonymous said...

...McClatchy doesn't need a Vice President for news because, well, McClatchy doesn't DO NEWS.

Anonymous said...

Pruitt claimes McClatchy will replace Weaver.

I'll be surprized if they replace him -- the most likely scenario is his duties will be give to other people.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant cost cutting move, saves $500,000 a year.

Anonymous said...

I could never figure out what Weaver did. The editors ran the newspapers, and the bureau chief the Washington bureau. He wrote this blog ostensibly to keep touch with reporters, but refused to answer even routine questions asked him. He seems equipped with all the apparatus of execs today, and could tweet his movements. But movements were uninteresting and his tweets esoteric. He tweeted about drinking a lot, and seemed often tired. But what did he do to earn his salary?

Anonymous said...

If the CEOs of the 3 Major Car Companies in the US are offering to take a $1 salary...when is that going to happen at McClatchy? At least a $100,000 reduction in salary would set the example.

Anonymous said...

No news is good news when it comes to McClatchy. They just want blogs so they can boost about their web sites.


I bet you might be able to get him for a LITTLE LESS than $500,000.

Anonymous said...

Etaoin Shrdlu
Howard writes: “….I am grateful that Gary Pruitt is young enough, smart enough and tough enough to keep leading McClatchy through this perilous time. We’ve worked together since the early 1980s, when I was a young editor and he an even younger First Amendment lawyer, and I’m well positioned to bear witness to the remarkable consistency of character he brings to the challenges at hand. [McClatchy could not have better hands on the tiller.”]
Pruitt’s hand on the tiller of a leaky boat heading toward an iceberg. The very image boggles the mind.

Anonymous said...

Any one interested in the up coming recall of Funky Mayor Mark Funk and despised Co Mayor and Fuckette wife? The KC Star endorsed and supported Mark Funkhouser in 2007. Since then, with the Zman acting as his unofficial shill, it has been one long slow mo train wrech.

While the Falling Star has recanted their endorsement, they still shy away from the grass roots recall movement. Even after AP, WSJ, and GMW did embarreassing profiles, the Star still wants every one to 'play nice'!

Want details on a QUARTER MILLION artsy fartsy unneeded ART FENCE replacing a perfectly serviceable perimeter barrier at my ole alma mater? In months of notice, not ONE RESPONSE from the Falling Star and Funkytown adminstration.

Oh, Zman does a column on muddling through. A torrent of public bile. The artcle and blog responses DISAPPEAR in days. Also the former hassle free access to article blogs is now restricted.

What are they afraid of? The public?

tired.dispatcher said...

My uncle is retired newspaper editor. NOT of the McClatchy assortment. His formal papers used them as examples of what shouldn't be published. Having read the Fresno Bee, another McClatchy newspaper, for many years ago, and checking out their website for current local information, their lopsided anti-law enforcement pro-gangs and pro-down & out writings haven't changed.

Anonymous said...

He will now have ample time to Twitter and blog, which seemed to be his only function. One has to wonder if he will stay in the most expensive hotels now that he's on his own dime.

Anonymous said...

After Ziemans WHINE column there were pages of postings in comments. They were awful, negative, hateful that won't happen again. You need to register and have a password to be able to comment. All this will do is drop their online numbers.

Anonymous said...

Oh it will happen again, once they figure out how bad their hit count is hurt. In the mean time I have noticed that many have found