Sunday, January 18, 2009

Gary Pruitt called "the smartest newspaper executive in America"

Ever notice how some people's perceptions don't mesh with reality? That seems to be the case with the way some media people view McClatchy CEO Gary Pruitt.

Latest example is the reaction of one McClatchy editor to a visit by Gary Pruitt. It seems Gary Pruitt and some other overpaid McClatchy executives went to Merced to give attaboys and accolades to McClatchy staff there. Sun Star editor Mike Tharp wrote about the experience and offered his opinion about Gary Pruitt:
The visit by our VIPs not only raised our morale. It inspired us to work even harder and smarter... Pruitt, regarded as the smartest newspaper executive in America....
Huh? "The smartest newspaper executive in America"??

Dude. Look at Pruitt's actual record. He is the genius who saddled McClatchy with more than $2 billion in debt to buy a print media company (Knight Ridder) in 2006, when print media had already started tanking. Knight Ridder didn't get any other offers while it was for sale, which tells you Pruitt paid way too much. The result of Pruitt's Folly? His company is $2 billion in debt, he has laid off 2,500 employees in the past year, the company share price has dropped 95%, and people are placing odds on whether the company will file bankruptcy this year.

That's not smart. Not even close.

Which goes to show you, some people at McClatchy still think the emperor is wearing fine clothes -- despite his actual record of messing things up.

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23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why hasn’t Gary Pruitt been fired?

Anonymous said...

Well, he is getting over $4 mil while the stock tanks, employees are fired, jobs are outsourced, creditors are screaming and the bankruptcy lawyers are sharpening their pencils.

I guess it depends on what the meaning of smart is.

McClatchy Watch said...

Anonymous 10:43 heh

Anonymous said...

The Fourth Estate Sale
Decimated by corporate overlords, the only hope for our local newspapers may be the auction block.
The Daily Pulp A Bob Norman Blog
published: January 15, 2009

The Sentinel and the Herald are both being decimated by their corporate parents, which are now headquartered in Chicago and Sacramento, respectively.
A glaring example of this came last year, when McClatchy CEO Gary Pruitt was paid an $800,000 bonus while the company's stock went into the toilet and job cuts were being planned.
McClatchy's stock price, which was at more than $70 a few years ago, recently dipped below a buck. Investors simply don't believe that the debt-laden company will survive -- and they are probably right.
Those are reasons the Sentinel and the Herald need to be sold now -- before the overlords in Chicago and Sacramento suck more life out of them.

Anonymous said...

If Pruitt and the other McClatchy directors sold their stock while they were still worth something, did they disclose that to the other stockholders? Man, this whole thing stinks.

Anonymous said...

the real measure of his ineptitude was buying the minneapolis star tribune and its affiliates for over $1 billion, then selling it for about half that much. it probably looks great from an accounting standpoint, but any moron can buy high and sell low. this one did it with lots of zeros in the sums.

Anonymous said...

Pruitt may have his bucks out of McClatchy, but he still has to look into a mirror. (He looks like a dandy anyway.) He has to look at his own face that ruined a lot of lives. Greed or stupidity, take your pick, both are traits he can claim. His CEO career is surely over.

Anonymous said...

What possibly could Pruitt say at the McClatchy 4th quarter report meeting, that would ease the pain of this death march?

Anonymous said...

What is really justice is the few papers that are doing well, such as the Tacoma paper, are getting their profits siphoned off to pay for the papers that are not doing well.

It seems the advocates of the redistribution of wealth are getting to enjoy it.

Let's take away from those that are doing well, working hard and making things work and give it to those who are not. Sounds like a campaign speech from Our Dear Maximum Leader.

That karma thingy again.

Anonymous said...

Of course Pruitt's smart -- look how much he's bilked out of the company.

Anonymous said...

Mike Tharp has to suck up to keep his job. The Merced Sun-Star is only about 16K circ, and it's weekend package is printed with the inserts at the Fresno Bee. The Sun Star uses the pagination system hosted out of the Fresno Bee.

It's only a matter of time that Fresno and Merced newsroom, business, and operations are consolidated, with just a small office in Merced.

Anonymous said...

Isn't this Tharp the same idiot who bragged about never losing to his high school players in a free throw contest, and he was ready to lead his paper to glory?

http://www.mercedsunstar.com/360/story/504143.html

This guy's is a grade a moron

Anonymous said...

Anon. 12:07
"It seems the advocates of the redistribution of wealth are getting to enjoy it."

That is a great comment. I agree completely, and there are many smaller papers being cannibalized by their failing family members. So everybody falls off the chart, who’s great idea is that?

Anonymous said...

The Knight Ridder guy made out the best, sold his company before the great fall from grace, sold his stock early and made millions. He probably is still soaking McClatchy in some form or another. The employees at McClatchy still haven’t figured out who screwed them over.

Anonymous said...

Pruitt is a fool, and he has ruined the McClatchy Company. As noted here, he took his profits and still continues at a high salary. Why did he think he needed KR in the first place? McClatchy had a good collection of papers in key places. I can’t understand taking on debt like that. Piggish, that’s what he was, and now the piggy grunts about the downturn in the economy. His own papers beat the poor economy subject like a dead horse to help the election. So it helped, no one believes you will survive, don’t you read your own papers?

Anonymous said...

Last quarter Pruitt said the results were'lousy' and I am trying to think of a word worse than lousy. Giving Gary a head start, just to be helpful.

Anonymous said...

Comment section at MarketWatch:
“McClatchy's Sacramento Bee is the most liberal, slanted, anti-development newspaper in the Country. Gary Pruitt should be taken out to the wood shed for the dismal performance of this company. They finally sold the expensive corporate jet they bought a few years ago….”

Anonymous said...

Pruitt is a big Rolling Stones fan. He probably loves this one:

Oh, a storm is threat’ning
My very life today
If I don’t get some shelter
Oh yeah, I’m gonna fade away.

—The Rolling Stones,
“Gimme Shelter,” Let it Bleed

Anonymous said...

They’re already calling 2008 the year the newspaper died.

Anonymous said...

Newspapers are full of stuff I don’t care about. I have less time to read what interests me, why would I read stuff that doesn’t? I will never subscribe to a newspaper again. There must be millions of people that agree with me.

Anonymous said...

If you can't dazzle 'em with brilliance...BAFFLE 'EM WITH BULL!
That bottom feeder has 'em either sucking up, or they don't see the truth in the situation...of course as of late McClatchy hasn't seen the truth in much! They could have shut down the Merdead scum star and printed it in Modesto and saved our jobs...BUT NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! If Pruitt had given up his bogus...I mean bonus...the company could have saved a bunch of jobs. If they had gotten rid of the %&%##&(^@! the company might just still be in good shape. Oh well, their loss!

Anonymous said...

He was smart enough to dump your ass.

Leonard said...

I could never understand how CEO pay is done. In a normal life one has to make money for the company or he is fired or demoted or cut in pay. CEO makes money even when the company tanks. It makes no sense to me. We treat them like Gods. I am a carrier for one of the newspapers for ten years and I wish Pruitt would just walk out and leave it to someone who can actually be a winner and not just act like one.