First-Ever ‘Sac Bee’ Publisher Heaphy to Be Replaced By Dell

By: E&P Staff

Janis Heaphy, the first person to take the formal title of publisher of The Sacramento Bee, is retiring after 10 years, and will be replaced by Cheryl Dell, president and publisher of The News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., The McClatchy Co., publisher of both papers, announced Monday.

Dell will assume Heaphy’s positions as publisher and president on April 14, McClatchy said.

The Bee was an unusual daily that operated for more than 100 years without a publisher at its top. The lead position was often headed by a McClatchy family member.

This will be the third McClatchy paper Dell, 48, will lead in her career. She has headed the News Tribune since 2004. From 200 to 2004, she was publisher of the Tri-City Herald in Washington.

Dell joined McClatchy in 1997 as advertising director of The Modesto (Calif.) Bee and moved to The Fresno (Calif.) Bee in 1999 as vice president of sales and marketing.

Dell is a native of Modesto, Calif., and a graduate of California State University, Sacramento, with a degree in communications.

“Having worked at four McClatchy papers, Cheryl is intimately familiar with our culture,” said Frank Whittaker, McClatchy vice president, operations, who oversees the company’s California, Florida and Kentucky newspapers. “I fully expect that she will lead the Bee to even greater successes.”

Heaphy, 56, became the first publisher in The Sacramento Bee’s history in 1998. She arrived from the Los Angeles Times, where worked in advertising for 22 years. When she was recruited away by McClatchy she was senior vice president of advertising and marketing.

“Under Janis’ direction, the Sacramento Bee earned many of journalism’s highest awards, while enthusiastically embracing digital opportunities,” Whittaker said. “In many of those years, the Bee achieved record revenues. In the last several years, Janis has made many wise decisions to reposition and restructure the Bee to meet new economic challenges.”

Heaphy said she is retiring to spend more time with her son, Tanner, a high school senior, before he goes away to college. She is also getting married in July to Jim Durham, and the couple plan to live in Sun Valley, Idaho.

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