James McClatchy, former news executive, dies | SierraSun.com

James McClatchy, former news executive, dies

James Briggs McClatchy, former chairman of the board of McClatchy Newspapers, patriarch of a prominent family of journalists and former owner of the Tahoe World and Sierra Sun, died Friday of complications from an infection following surgery. He was 85.

McClatchy was the great-grandson of a founding editor of The Sacramento Bee and the son of the founder and first editor of The Fresno Bee. They are part of a group of newspapers that has become the nation’s second largest with McClatchy’s recent $4.5 billion purchase of the Knight Ridder chain.

McClatchy, a longtime second homeowner at Lake Tahoe, purchased the Tahoe World in 1969.

In 1980, McClatchy and longtime friend Phil Swift entered into an agreement where each owned 50 percent of the Tahoe World and Sierra Sun. Mount Rose Publishing Company emerged as the pair’s combined organization. The paper’s ownership shifted in 1996 when Swift Newspapers bought out McClatchy’s share in Mount Rose Publishing Company.

McClatchy is survived by his wife, Susan, sons William and Carlos McClatchy, his brother William and numerous nieces and nephews. Funeral arrangements were pending.

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