McClatchy CEO Craig Forman Urges National Advertisers to Think Differently About News, While Asserting That Local Journalism Is More Important Than Ever

SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that "local journalism is needed more than ever," McClatchy CEO Craig Forman said yesterday in remarks delivered during the Kindred livestream panel, "Can Brands Save Local News?" In his 20-minute conversation with Ian Schafer, Kindred's CEO and advertising industry veteran, Forman urged national advertisers to think differently about advertising with news brands, especially local ones.

Kindred CEO Ian Schafer and McClatchy CEO Craig Forman discuss the future of the local news business

"News isn't monolithic," Forman said as he went on to explain the advantages of advertisers using local news brands to promote their products and messages.  "We have to dispel the notion that news is this vast bucket and it's all the same…We have a powerful platform that allows national advertisers to connect with local audiences."

Forman, citing his leadership of both big branded-media companies and Silicon Valley digital platform companies, stressed the important role that advertisers play in using their marketing dollars to helping maintain a more informed society.  He pointed out that local news outlets, with the support of advertisers, are an essential 'lifeline service' for their communities and help establish a profound connection to their audiences -- bringing additional vitality to these cities and towns.  

Schafer closed the interview by asking Forman for a final thought.  "This crisis has shown us that where we live is an essential part of who we are," said Forman. Addressing national advertisers, Forman continued, "If you're a national advertiser, let's think about how you can use local news...let's partner together to come out of this [crisis] stronger." 

Following Forman's question-and-answer session, Ian Schafer interviewed Kerry Flynn, media reporter, CNN; Karen Rundlet, director, Knight Foundation; and Matt Rivitz, founder, Sleeping Giants. Kindred is a New York-based startup in the event space that aids companies with socially conscious practices.  

McClatchy operates 30 media companies in 14 states, providing each of its communities with strong independent local journalism in the public interest and advertising services in a wide array of digital and print formats. McClatchy publishes iconic local brands including the Miami Herald, The Kansas City Star, The Sacramento Bee, The Charlotte Observer, The (Raleigh) News & Observer, and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. McClatchy is headquartered in Sacramento, Calif. #ReadLocal

Kindred's mission is to accelerate the growth of sustainable, purpose-led business by developing, connecting, and empowering a network of responsible leaders. For more information about Kindred's content series, visit, and for more on Kindred's events, visit

Jeanne Segal

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