By: Editorial Staff
Rumors resurface, but Nan Tucker McEvoy says
board has reaffirmed its decision not to sell sp.
THE SAN FRANCISCO Chronicle is not for sale and family shareholders continue to support her as chairman of the board, Nan Tucker McEvoy informed the newspaper staff March 24.
Her bulletin-board message was in response to a recent San Jose Mercury News story reporting that shareholders were upset about McEvoy’s role in the management of Chronicle Publishing Co., particularly in reversing cost-cutting measures introduced last fall. The article also revived reports that the Chronicle might be sold, a decision that McEvoy repeatedly has said “will be over my dead body” (E&P, Dec. 4, 1993, p. 11).
McEvoy, 74, is the granddaughter of the Chronicle’s founder, M.H. deYoung, and the largest shareholder in the family-owned company whose holdings include two other newspapers and broad-cast, cable and book publishing units.
As reported in advance by the Mercury News, a special shareholders meeting was held March 24, ostensibly for family stockholders to air their grievances with McEvoy.
Following the meeting, McEvoy posted the following notice:
“A group representing the shareholders of the Chronicle Publishing Co. met informally today to discuss and resolve a number of misunderstandings. I am pleased to say that I continue to enjoy the support of these shareholders in my role as chairman of the company. At the meeting, we also reaffirmed our determination not to sell the Chronicle newspaper. We hope this puts to rest some of the concerns implied by recently published reports about the company.”
In an interview, McEvoy denied that she had interfered with the Chronicle’s cost-cutting program. “I have absolutely no idea where they [the Mercury News] got that,” she added.
She did note that the Chronicle recently had gone up two pages but said that action was taken by Chronicle president and CEO John Sias. “That was entirely his decision. I had nothing to do with it,” McEvoy said.
Chronicle executive vice president Phelps Dewey said the meeting produced no fireworks, although some shareholders believed that McEvoy had too high a profile in a Feb. 14 New York Times story about the Chronicle.
“But there was no palace revolt,” Dewey said. “The other shareholders see Nan McEvoy as a conduit between management and the owners.”