01/12/2007 10:18 AM ET
Ownership requests change of control
MLB approval vote scheduled for quarterly ownership meetings on Jan. 18
Pirates CEO Kevin McClatchy and Chairman of the Board Robert (Bob) Nutting have requested that an official "change of control" within the Pirates ownership group be approved by Major League Baseball. Control of the Pirates will change from Kevin McClatchy to Bob Nutting, pending approval by MLB Owners.
Mr. McClatchy, as the club's CEO, remains responsible for the day-to-day operations of the organization. As Chairman of the Board and control person for the team, Mr. Nutting's role is to provide strategic leadership for the organization.
"I am deeply and resolutely committed to the success of the Pittsburgh Pirates both on and off the field. I understand how important the Pirates are to the people of this region and I share in their passion to see this team succeed," Mr. Nutting said. "Kevin was very supportive of this change of control, and it should provide absolute clarity for our fans regarding the ownership structure of the team."
"Bob and his family have been tremendous partners. This change of control was the right thing to do considering their gradual increased investment in the ballclub," said Mr. McClatchy. "Bob and I agree that the best way for us to win on the field is to build from within. This is the plan we believe in, and the one that Dave (Littlefield) was brought in to develop and execute. We had a strong second half in 2006 and I'm confident that we'll continue to improve in 2007."
"I believe there is absolutely nothing more important than for this team to be able to win on a consistent basis," Mr. Nutting said. "I am committed to providing Kevin and Dave the greatest amount of support possible to accomplish that. Our fans deserve it, our community deserves it and I expect it."
Major League Baseball Owners will vote on Thursday, Jan. 18 to officially recognize the change in control. The vote is part of the overall agenda for the quarterly MLB Ownership Meetings slated for Phoenix, Arizona beginning next Wednesday.
"Bob and his family provide strong, stable ownership for the Pirates," said Commissioner Bud Selig. "Their long history of leading successful organizations and multi-generational commitment to the Pittsburgh region will translate well for the Pirates. I have enjoyed working with Bob over the past several years. He has a great passion for the Pirates and a tremendous desire for the team to succeed."
"Kevin has been a tremendous asset to the Pirates and the Pittsburgh community," Selig continued. "His vision and tenacity kept the team in Pittsburgh, built one of the country's best ballparks and hosted a tremendous All-Star Game last July. He's also devoted much time and energy to MLB initiatives, particularly our recent efforts on the World Baseball Classic."
This mutual decision is a result of the gradual increased investment in the franchise over time by Mr. Nutting and his family, making the Nutting family the ballclub's majority owner.
"Since my increased involvement in 2003, Kevin and I have worked very hard to restructure the ballclub's finances. The franchise is now in a good position that ensures its long-term viability and provides the financial stability to keep our young, talented team together for years to come," Mr. Nutting added. "We are working from this solid base and will build upon it by continuing to reinvest back into the ballclub as we have been. It's critical we spend those resources effectively."
The Nutting family, owners of Ogden Newspapers, Inc. and Seven Springs Mountain Resort, were part of the original ownership group assembled by Mr. McClatchy in 1996. Bob Nutting has represented the family's interest in the Pirates since 2003. He also serves as President and CEO of Ogden Newspapers, Inc. and Chairman of Seven Springs Mountain Resort.
Mr. Nutting becomes the sixth principal owner in franchise history. The previous principal owners of the Pirates were: Barney Dreyfuss (1900 - 1932), Bill Benswanger (1932 - 1946), John Galbreath (1946 - 1985), Pittsburgh Associates (1985 - 1996) and Kevin McClatchy (1996 - 2007).
The Pirates also announced the addition of two members to the organization's Board of Directors, William (Bill) Nutting, VP of Ogden Newspapers, Inc. and Duane Wittman, CFO of Ogden Newspapers, Inc. They join Bob Nutting (Chairman), Kevin McClatchy, G. Ogden Nutting and Don Beaver on the Pirates Board of Directors. The expansion brings the total number of seats on the Board to six, each representing one vote.