Tribune publisher Ray seeks new pastures
February 16, 2015
By DANIEL BLACKBURN
Tribune president and publisher Bruce G. Ray has resigned effective Feb. 27, Executive Editor Sandy Duerr announced Saturday in a front-page story.
The resignation comes as stocks in the Tribune’s parent corporation, the McClatchy Company, have plummeted to $2.63 a share this week, from $74 a share in 2005. The stock’s low point was $2.12, in 2011.
Ray, 44, has held his position for six years. He is departing just two months after the McClatchy Company announced a new program of what company officials termed “corporate reorganization.”
Ray said he is leaving to pursue “two intriguing local opportunities.” Fresno Bee president and publisher Tom Cullinan will “oversee the Tribune in the interim,” Duerr wrote.
Ray led the Tribune “during the newspaper industry’s unprecedented turbulent times,” Duerr added.
During the last part of 2012, the Tribune announced it planned to start charging readers for online access. McClatchy had by that time already test run firewalls in five markets, to block unpaid visitors. The company then started charging for online access at all of the company’s 24 remaining papers.
As a result of the firewall installation maneuver, stock prices soared to a high of $6.59 in April 2014. Since then, however, McClatchy’s stock prices have been steadily falling to its current price.
At the same time, online readership for the Tribune is about a third less than it was in 2010, while mobile visits by click-through, one-time visitors has risen and now accounts for nearly 50 percent of the Tribune’s total readership.