I’ve heard from two McClatchy journalists about Kevin McClatchy coming out in Frank Bruni’s Sunday column.
Am I the only one who thought it odd that Kevin McClatchy, chairman of a vast news empire stretching from Miami to Alaska, told his story to The New York Times? Frank Bruni is a great reporter who has written movingly of his own experiences. But still … it would be as though Arthur Sulzberger chose to break family news through Bloomberg. I can’t imagine that happening.
The second journalist writes:
I have to say I found it stunning that he would bypass his own papers, even if he established a rapport with the NYT’s writer. What message does that sends to the employees – that even he thinks McClatchy is second tier or maybe third tier? and how can a manager ever again ask a reporter how they got beat by the Times?
Actually, McClatchy did come out to a McClatchy paper, too. He did a phone interview on Saturday with the Sacramento Bee’s Marcos Breton, who wrote a Sunday piece that acknowledges the McClatchy paper didn’t get the scoop. “The interview in the Times on Sunday, Sept. 23, is the 49-year-old McClatchy’s first public acknowledgement of his sexual orientation,” notes Breton.
I’ve asked McCarthy for comment.
UPDATE: Romenesko reader Ed Murrieta points out that McClatchy’s late father was gay — and that it’s noted on the McClatchy-owned Miami Herald’s Gay South Florida blog.
Steve Rothaus writes:
[Kevin's] father, C.K. McClatchy, ran the company from 1979 until his sudden death from a heart attack while jogging on April 16, 1989.
Shortly after C.K. McClatchy died at age 62, another Sacramento newspaper reported he carried the AIDS virus.
The Chicago Tribune then reported that the elder McClatchy was gay and, according to a local gay newspaper, survived by a male “friend” and several close relatives, including Kevin.
Kevin McClatchy on Monday declined to speak about his father’s private life.
“I don’t think it’s right for me to talk about his story. He passed away when I was 25 years old.”