RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Orage Quarles III, president & publisher The News & Observer for the past 16 years, will retire on June 3, the McClatchy company said in a statement. A search for his replacement has begun.
A search for his replacement has begun.
During his tenure, the company expanded its local community-focused publications from five to 10, launched Walter Magazine and, most recently, saw its daily, weekly and magazine publications receive McClatchy President’s Awards for outstanding journalism, McClatchy said in a news release.
“I’m one of those lucky people who found their career passion early in life,” Quarles said. “Linda and I have enjoyed every community that we have lived in and are fortunate to end this chapter of our lives in Raleigh. It’s been a heck of a ride.”
Quarles began his news industry career with the Gannett-owned San Bernardino Sun in 1969 and became its ad director in 1984. Three years later, he became publisher of The Coloradoan in Fort Collins, CO. During his time in Colorado, Quarles was named Gannett’s publisher of the year. In 1990, he was promoted to publisher of the Stockton Record in Stockton, CA.
In early 1993, Quarles joined McClatchy as publisher of The Herald in Rock Hill, S.C., and director of Carolina operations overseeing the McClatchy-owned Island Packet in Hilton Head, S.C., and Beaufort Gazette in Beaufort, S.C. He served in this capacity until 1996 when he was promoted and became the first publisher of the Modesto Bee in Modesto, California. He served as publisher there until being promoted to publisher of The News & Observer in 2000.
Quarles was the first publisher not to come up through The N&O under the Daniels family. Frank Daniels Jr. was publisher in 1995 when McClatchy bought the newspaper, and Fred Crisp served as publisher briefly before Quarles was named.
“Orage represents the very best traits of McClatchy publishers,” said Pat Talamantes, president and CEO of McClatchy. “He is entrepreneurial and focused. He exhibits class and grace in all situations. Orage will fight for his people, his community and his ideals. All of us at McClatchy are so thankful to have had him as a colleague and mentor. I congratulate him on his extraordinarily impactful career.”
Quarles, 65, currently serves on the board of trustees for the North Carolina Museum of History and the Dix Conservancy. He and his wife, Linda, have been married for 43 years. The couple has two daughters, Amber and Alicia, and two grandchildren.
Information for this report came from a McClatchy news release.