Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Annual McClatchy stockholders meeting today... time for the board to place Gary Pruitt's performace on the agenda

The annual meeting of McClatchy stockholders will be held today at 9:00 PST at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Sacramento.

One item that should be at the top of the board of director's agenda today: Gary Pruitt's performance.

If the board is looking for a way to evaluate Pruitt's performance, I have a suggestion: take a look at Pruitt's own goals from a year ago. Here is what Pruitt told the shareholders last year:

In 2008 we will focus our efforts in four areas:

* First, improving revenue performance with a particular emphasis on internet advertising.
* Second, providing high quality public service journalism.
* Third, growing total audience based on the unduplicated reach of our print and online products.
* And fourth, restructuring and reducing our costs.

If we execute on this four-part strategy we can control our destiny and succeed.

Why not evaluate Pruitt's performance on this criteria.

The results show Pruitt hasn't succeeded in any of the key areas.

Internet advertising has grown but not nearly enough to make up for other losses. McClatchy will make $200 million in online revenue this year -- that's nice, but that amount won't come close to making up for the collapse in non-online revenue.

As far as providing high quality public service journalism, that's a subjective judgment -- but readers of this blog know the objective number of goofs and copy editing mistakes in print and on the web are piling up. (And how about McClatchy hawking Obama books, Obama mugs and Obama mouse pads -- that's high quality public service journalism??)

As far as growing the audience, there is no doubt McClatchy's Internet presence has increased in terms of readers, but the growth hasn't translated into revenue gains. Paid circulation fell 9% in the 6-month period which ended March 31.

On the restructuring front, the cutbacks Pruitt engineered earlier in 2009 probably aren't enough to stave off another round of layoffs -- that's what Citi analyst Catriona Fallon said in mid-April (link here). I said the same thing earlier the same month.

The spotlight at the Hyatt Regency today is on the board of directors and what they will do about Gary Pruitt.


Anonymous said...

They won't do a damn thing. Those stockholders are nothing but sheep and will ride the ship all the way to the bottom with Pruitt whistling "I Can't Get No Satisfaction".

Anonymous said...

I found typos in your headline and errors in your post. I BLAME GARY PRUITT FOR THIS!

Anonymous said...

"Dear board members. I am so glad you are here today to discuss the future of McClatchy. To sum it up, we're screwed. Now, lets have lunch."

McClatchy Watch said...

8:37 missing word in headline added, thanks.

Anonymous said...

I blame the missing word on somebody I haven't heard of at the Kansas City Star, I.F. Stone, the Communists, the United Way, the president, Mormons, people who live in San Franciso, Jon Walcott, and the socialist, Marxist Campfire Girls.

Anonymous said...

No other competent CEO would take the job. Gary needs the job. Who else would hire him?

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't McClatchy replace Pruitt with Baghdad Bob. I think he'd take the job

Anonymous said...

Ha, 9:48. You've nailed the formula for this blog. It goes: Kansas City, Kansas City, libruls, marxists, Kansas City, Obama, Obama, Kansas City, Gary Pruitt. Fascinating.

Anonymous said...

Lot's of crtics of this blog showing up lately...not much defense of MNI though. They know a hard target when they see one.
MNI is a car wreck in slow hate to watch but you can't take your eyes away either. Arrogant morons who fired their readership now complain about being held to account.

Anonymous said...

"I like to think of the McClatchy of the future as an athlete: fit and trim, yet muscular where we need to be," Gary Pruitt told the handful of shareholders who showed up Wednesday for the Sacramento-based company's annual meeting. McClatchy directors and executives outnumbered shareholders.

"I like to think of Xanax as a cure for reality." $2 Billion debt. $50 Million market cap. NYSE delisting.

Life is always easier as an ostrich.