published on January 26, 2017 - 3:21 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

(AP) — The McClatchy Co. on Wednesday named former Yahoo! and Earthlink executive Craig Forman as its new president and chief executive officer as the newspaper publishing giant struggles to make money in the digital age.

Forman, 55, succeeds Patrick Talamantes, who was CEO for four years during which the Sacramento-based company continued to see profits drop even as it invested in digital products.

The company reported a net loss of $37 million for the first nine months of last year.

McClatchy operates 29 daily newspapers in 14 states, including the Miami Herald, Kansas City Star, Sacramento Bee, Charlotte Observer and Fort Worth Star-Telegram. It has been trying to build a digital footprint as online news providers continue to steal eyeballs and profits from newspapers and magazines.

Forman, a private investor and current McClatchy board member, has “a strong track record in both digital technology and journalism,” the company announced.

The former Wall Street Journal reporter and bureau chief has held executive positions with companies such as Dow Jones and Time Warner.

At Yahoo!, Forman headed the media and information unit that included its news, sports, finance and other operations. At Earthlink, he was president of the company’s $1 billion access and audience business.

He was executive chairman of the mobile commerce company Where.com Inc. — which was acquired by eBay in 2011 — and mobile-app advertising services firm Appia Inc.

“Craig is a clear-eyed realist, but also an optimist, and he has the energy we need to drive us forward,” board Chairman Kevin McClatchy said in a statement. “I’ve worked closely with Craig on the board, and he has played an instrumental role in guiding the board and focusing on our digital transformation.”

Forman told the Sacramento Bee that McClatchy has to move more quickly into new media operations.

“We’ve already transitioned in many respects to the foundations of that digital future,” he said. “My goal here is collaborating in accelerating that transformation. … The thing we have to work on is our pace.”

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