McClatchy Newspapers Makes Executive Moves

Posted on August 6, 1997

Gary Pruitt, president and chief executive officer of McClatchy Newspapers, today announced several major executive moves:

Senior vice president Bill Honeysett's long-planned retirement will be effective in mid September.

Two new vice presidents, Frank Whittaker and Bob Weil, will oversee company operations.

Whittaker, currently president and general manager of The Sacramento Bee, has been promoted to vice president, operations, for McClatchy effective September 1. He will oversee The Sacramento Bee, The Fresno Bee and The Modesto Bee as well as The Newspaper Network, a national newspaper marketing company, and, a national online publishing operation. Whittaker will be replaced by a publisher who will have overall responsibility for The Sacramento Bee. A search to fill that new position has begun.

Weil, currently publisher of The Fresno Bee, also has been promoted to vice president, operations, effective September 1. He will oversee The (Raleigh, NC) News & Observer, The (Tacoma, WA) News Tribune, Anchorage Daily News, Tri-City Herald and McClatchy's newspapers in South Carolina, The (Rock Hill) Herald, The (Hilton Head) Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette.

Keith Moyer, executive editor of The Fresno Bee, will become publisher of that paper, replacing Weil. A search for a new executive editor is under way.

Kelso Gillenwater, publisher of The (Tacoma) News Tribune, will retire for health reasons by the end of the year when his successor has been named. The search for a replacement for Gillenwater, who suffered a mild heart attack earlier this year, is under way.

Leo Rennert, chief of McClatchy's Washington (DC) Bureau, will become senior correspondent in Washington effective January 1, 1998. David Westphal, current deputy bureau chief, will be promoted to bureau chief.

Ray Steele will become director of corporate services. He will oversee Legi-Tech, an online legislative service, plus newsprint purchases, corporate planning, Western Research and acquisition coordination.

Ben Holden, a staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal, has been hired as assistant to the president for staff support in corporate and will join the company on October 6.

"These significant promotions complete the transition to a new generation of leadership at McClatchy Newspapers," Pruitt said. "In Frank Whittaker and Bob Weil we have two talented and seasoned newspaper executives who will work closely with me to help chart McClatchy's future. I am pleased that we have outstanding people like Frank and Bob ready to step into these strategic positions.

"Keith Moyer brings an extensive news background and sound business judgment to his new role as publisher of The Fresno Bee.

"David Westphal not only has distinguished newspaper experience in Washington and elsewhere, he has worked superbly with all of our papers as deputy bureau chief. As our senior correspondent in Washington, Leo Rennert will have the opportunity for in-depth reporting after so ably serving as our Washington bureau chief for more than 30 years..

"We will all miss the leadership, insights and experience of Bill Honeysett and Kelso Gillenwater. I'm grateful we were able to delay Bill's early retirement plans as long as we did. I also appreciate Kelso's desire to make health issues his top priority. We certainly wish them well in retirement."