As part of a nationwide reorganization of its newsrooms, McClatchy will have one editor, based in Sacramento, who will be responsible for all five of the company’s California newspapers, including the San Luis Obispo Tribune, as well as a paper in Idaho.
McClatchy’s latest shakeup coincides with the announced departure of The Sacramento Bee’s executive editor, Joyce Terhaar, who spent 30 years with the newspaper.
Lauren Gustus, currently the executive editor of the Star-Telegram in Fort Worth, Texas, will soon assume the regional editorial for The Sacramento Bee, The Fresno Bee, The Modesto Bee, The Merced Sun-Star, The Tribune and The Idaho Statesman in Boise
As a regional editor, Gustus will be charged with ensuring that the different newsrooms work together effectively and to push “forward to the company’s digital future.”
The individual papers will retain a “local editor” who is committed to producing journalism that matters to the local community, according to McClatchy. It is unclear who will serve as The Tribune’s local editor.
Ken Riddick, the president and publisher of The Tribune, is currently based in Fresno. Riddick is simultaneously the president and publisher of The Fresno Bee and the Merced Sun-Star, as well.
Many locals reacted to McClatchy’s latest shakeup with comments on social media suggesting San Luis Obispo County is gradually losing its local newspaper.
“So our local newspaper will now have a Fresno-based publisher and a Sacramento-based editor,” radio host Dave Congalton wrote on Facebook.
Tribune photographer David Middlecamp responded by stating day-to-day operations in McClatchy newsrooms will still be run by a local editor.
Nonetheless, others remain skeptical about the future of The Tribune.
“The Tribune is a perfect example of death by a thousand cuts,” wrote Tolosa Press Managing Editor Neil Farrell. “[Former editor Sandra Duerr] was paid well to run this tiny paper. I can only imagine how much the new editor will make running five papers. Either she’s a real Wonder Woman with super powers or she could be there to shut things down.”
McClatchy’s new Sacramento-based editor will be one of the publishing company’s two “regional editors” for its various newspapers. The other regional editor will be based in Raleigh, North Carolina and will be responsible for seven McClatchy newsrooms in the Carolinas, according to a McClatchy press release.
“The new structure will sharpen our local focus and increase the pace and cadence of our digital transformation,” said Craig Forman, president and CEO of McClatchy.