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McClatchy Acquired by Chatham Asset Management, LLC

McClatchy emerges with strong balance sheet, positioned for success

SACRAMENTO, Calif., September 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Certain funds affiliated with Chatham Asset Management, LLC (“Chatham”) today announced that they have completed the previously announced acquisition of substantially all assets of The McClatchy Company (“McClatchy” or the "Company"). The new company will retain The McClatchy Company name. The transaction significantly strengthens the Company’s balance sheet so that it can deliver on its mission to provide essential, independent journalism to local communities across the United States. This milestone marks the official completion of the acquisition of the Company's assets and the successful transition of these assets from Chapter 11. As of September 4, 2020, the entirety of McClatchy’s 30 news organizations and all of its employees transitioned to a new private entity under Chatham ownership. 

“McClatchy is a storied franchise with a rich tradition of serving the interests of local communities across the country. Now, more than ever, investing in independent journalism is imperative to ensuring the public is informed about critical issues impacting regions nationwide. We are proud to serve as stewards of the business as it continues to provide consumers with important news and information from a newfound position of strength,” said Chatham. 

“Today marks the beginning of a new era and opportunity for McClatchy," said Tony Hunter, Chief Executive Officer of McClatchy. "The Company is now poised for sustainable long-term growth driven by differentiated local content and an acute focus on our digital presence and offerings. We will continue to be proud of McClatchy’s iconic past while focusing on creating a bright future. I look forward to leading the talented McClatchy team, empowering them to do their best work, and energizing the organization to meet and exceed the evolving needs of our customers.”

McClatchy has appointed a new Board of Directors (the “Board”), of which Mr. Hunter has been named Chairman. Additional members of the Board include two highly qualified independent directors:

  • John Bode, Chief Operating Officer of Readerlink Distribution Services, a full-service distributor of hardcover, trade and paperback books in North America. Earlier in his career, Mr. Bode was the Chief Financial Officer of Tribune Publishing Company, where he led the company through its successful spin-off into a stand-alone, publicly traded entity. 

  • Jamal Mashburn, an entrepreneur, business owner and former NBA professional athlete with deep operating expertise and relationships in many of the markets in which McClatchy operates. Mr. Mashburn owns and operates over 150 local businesses and franchises across the United States.
 

Mr. Hunter added, “I’m excited to have the benefit of Jamal and John’s unique perspective and extensive experience as we forge a successful future for the Company by creating a digital driven business model.” 

About McClatchy

We help people and communities thrive. Through our deeply-rooted commitment to the role of local journalism, McClatchy is a catalyst for informed engagement, greater understanding, and deeper community connections. We ensure delivery of news and information essential to enhancing individual lives and improving the 30 distinct communities that are home to our journalists and iconic brands, including the Miami Herald, The Kansas City Star, The Sacramento Bee, The Charlotte Observer, The (Raleigh) News and Observer, and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. We extend our unique local and regional reach, relevance and resources to our advertising partners through fully-integrated marketing solutions. McClatchy is privately held by the investment firm, Chatham Asset Management. #ReadLocal

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this press release regarding the proposed agreement, as well as the restructuring and sale process, and any other statements about management's future expectations, beliefs, goals, plans or prospects, future business strategies, constitute forward-looking statements. Any statements that are not statements of historical fact (including statements containing the words "believes," "plans," "anticipates," "expects," "estimates" and similar expressions) should also be considered to be forward-looking statements. There are a number of important risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements, including: we may experience diminished digital subscriber growth as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic as this crisis evolves; we may do harm to our operations in attempting to achieve our expense reduction targets; our operations have been, and will likely continue to be, adversely affected by competition, including competition from internet publishing and advertising platforms. These forward-looking statements speak as of the time made and, except as required by law, we disclaim any intention and assume no obligation to update the forward-looking information contained in this release.


Contacts:

Media
Jeanne Segal
jsegal@mcclatchy.com
202-271-8880

Jonathan Gasthalter/Sam Fisher
Gasthalter & Co.
(212) 257-4170

Rachel Chesley
FTI Consulting
mcclatchy@fticonsulting.com
212-850-5681

Investors
Stephanie Zarate
szarate@mcclatchy.com
916-321-1931