New Eagle publisher named

William "Skip" Hidlay has been named president and publisher of The Eagle, the McClatchy Co. said today.

Hidlay, 51, a veteran journalist, arrives from the Gannett Co., where he has been president and publisher of two central New Jersey newspapers, the Courier News and the Home News Tribune, since April 2008.

His first day at The Eagle will be March 15. He replaces Pam Siddall, who left the newspaper in January.

From 2002 to 2008, Hidlay was the executive editor and vice president for news at the Asbury Park Press, a Gannett-owned newspaper on the New Jersey shoreline. From 1996 to 2002, Hidlay worked as the managing editor and, later, executive editor of Gannett's Courier-Post newspaper in Cherry Hill, N.J. In 2009, he served as a juror for the Pulitzer Prizes.

"We're extremely pleased to welcome Skip to McClatchy," Gary Pruitt, McClatchy's chairman and CEO, said in a release.

Pruitt called Hidlay a dynamic and innovative leader.

"He has embraced the technological and cultural changes sweeping the newspaper industry without sacrificing his passion for and commitment to public service journalism," Pruitt said.

Prior to joining Gannett in 1996, Hidlay spent 10 years working for the Associated Press in a variety of reporting, editing and management assignments.

He is a native of Bloomsburg, Pa., a town of 13,000 in northeastern Pennsylvania. After graduating from Syracuse University, he began his career in 1980 as a reporter for his hometown daily newspaper, the family-owned Press-Enterprise. He later worked as a reporter for two North Carolina newspapers, the Fayetteville Observer-Times and the Charlotte Observer, before joining the Associated Press in 1986.

"Skip is a journalist at heart who believes in strong storytelling, watchdog reporting and the newspaper's role as a community leader," Bob Weil, McClatchy vice president of operations, said in a release. "He certainly is a great fit to carry on those values and traditions, which are hallmarks of The Wichita Eagle."

Hidlay and his wife, Valerie, have five children: Will, 29; Travis, 26; Greg, 22; Nick, 19; and Paige, 13.

For more on this story, come back to and look in Friday's Eagle.