The McClatchy Company is an American publishing company based in Sacramento, California that operates a number of newspapers and websites. The company originated in the Sacramento Bee, which was first published on February 3, 1857 after the California Gold Rush. James McClatchy took over as editor of the Bee within a week. Today, the company operates 12 daily newspapers and 18 community papers that are printed with less frequency. The Minneapolis Star Tribune, acquired in 1998, has the highest circulation of all McClatchy newspapers, while the Bee is ranked second in circulation.
Most of the company's history has been in newspapers of the Golden State's Sacramento Valley and San Joaquin Valley. It acquired its first out-of-state newpapers in 1979. It is now a multistate operation, primarily operating in California and the Carolinas. The company's combined average circulation is 1.4 million daily and 1.9 million Sunday. McClatchy newpapers have earned 12 Pulitzer Prizes, three of which were gold medals for public service.
In its first moves outside its home state, McClatchy bought the Anchorage Daily News in Anchorage, Alaska and the Tri-City Herald in Kennewick, Washington in 1979. McClatchy has an Internet subsidiary, Nando Media, which provides business support and material for Internet media nationwide. It was acquired along with The News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina in 1995. Other operations include Newsprint Ventures Inc., a consortium that operates the Ponderay newsprint mill near Spokane, Washington. As of 2004, the company has about 9,300 employees.
McClatchy's presence in the Southern United States began in 1990, when it acquired three dailies in South Carolina: The Herald in Rock Hill, The Island Packet in Hilton Head, and The Beaufort Gazette of Beaufort.
In January 2004, McClatchy bought the Merced Sun-Star of Merced and five affiliated nondailies in California's San Joaquin Valley. Those newspapers are the Atwater Signal of Atwater, the Chowchilla News of Chowchilla, the Livingston Chronicle of Livingston, the Los Baņos Enterprise of Los Banos and the Sierra Star, of Oakhurst.
- Anchorage Daily News (Anchorage, Alaska) – acquired 1979
- The Beaufort Gazette (Beaufort, South Carolina) – acquired 1990
- The Fresno Bee (Fresno, California) – fourth in circulation
- The Herald (Rock Hill, South Carolina) – acquired 1990
- The Island Packet (Hilton Head, South Carolina) – acquired 1990
- Merced Sun-Star (Merced, California) – acquired 2004
- Minneapolis Star Tribune (Minneapolis, Minnesota) – acquired 1998, ranked first in circulation
- The Modesto Bee (Modesto, California) – sixth in circulation
- The News & Observer (Raleigh, North Carolina) – acquired 1995, third in circulation
- Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, California) – founded 1857, second in circulation, original paper
- Tacoma News Tribune (Tacoma, Washington) – acquired 1986, fifth in circulation
- Tri-City Herald (Kennewick, Washington) – acquired 1979