McClatchy Company President and CEO Gary Pruitt has been named President and CEO of The Associated Press. He’ll take over at the news cooperative in July as Tom Curley retires after nine years in the position.
Pruitt joined McClatchy as its general counsel in 1984, after working as a First Amendment lawyer. He was named assistant to the president at The Sacramento Bee in 1990 and became publisher of The Fresno Bee the following year. In 1994, he was promoted to McClatchy’s vice president of operations and technology. He was chosen as McClatchy’s president and chief operating officer in 1995, becoming chief executive officer in 1996 and chairman in 2001.
Pruitt has been a member of AP’s board for nine years, at one point serving as vice chairman.
“In Gary, we have chosen a seasoned and worthy successor to Tom Curley to continue AP’s transition to a digital news company,” said William Dean Singleton, outgoing chairman of the AP Board of Directors and chairman of MediaNews Group Inc. “Gary has deep experience in the changing world of the news industry, an acute business sense and an overriding understanding of and commitment to AP’s news mission.”
“I think AP is successfully transitioning, but the transition isn’t over and it never will be,” Pruitt said in a press release.
“Gary’s experience spans a wide range of media, from print to digital, but he also has been closely involved in successful media advertising efforts and technology partnerships that play such a crucial role in the news industry today,” said Mary Junck, AP’s incoming chairman, who headed the search committee and is chairman and CEO of Lee Enterprises. “His commitment to high-quality news content mirrors AP’s values of accuracy, fairness and independence.”
Pruitt is the 13th person to head the AP since its founding in 1846.
For its part, McClatchy’s Board of Directors has named Patrick J. Talamantes, McClatchy’s current vice president, finance and CFO, as Pruitt’s successor. Talamantes will assume the title of president and CEO and join the company’s Board of Directors. Kevin S. McClatchy, a director of McClatchy since 1998 and a fifth-generation member of the founding McClatchy family, will become chairman of the Board.