(AP) Herbert G. Klein, former Nixon White House communications director and a newsman for six decades, is retiring as editor in chief of Copley Newspapers.
Klein, who turns 85 next month, said Wednesday he will retire in June but will remain a consultant to Copley CEO David Copley, publisher of the chain’s flagship San Diego Union-Tribune.
Klein’s job included advising on editorial matters for the chain’s 10 newspapers in California, Illinois, and Ohio. His replacement has not been announced.
“I just think the timing was right at this point,” Klein said at Tuesday’s annual meeting of Copley publishers in Borrego Springs. “I’m doing this while I’m in good health.”
Klein started working with Copley in 1940 as a copy boy at the Alhambra (Calif.) Post-Advocate. He was editor of the Union for about a decade until he became the first White House communications director in 1969 under Richard Nixon.
Klein was popular with the press but less so with some members of Nixon’s inner circle, who considered him too open to reporters.
He left in 1973, more than a year before Nixon resigned. Klein said he wanted to make more money in the private sector. He became Copley editor in chief in 1980.
Klein said he plans to stay active by writing opinion pieces and fishing at Lake Arrowhead, where he has a second home.
“I have a very close family. I’ll enjoy spending more time with them,” he said.