McClatchy has promoted Colleen McCain Nelson to executive editor of The Sacramento Bee and regional editor for California. She will lead McClatchy's newsroom in Sacramento and oversee all California newsrooms, including The Fresno Bee, The Modesto Bee, The Tribune in San Luis Obispo and the Merced Sun-Star. McCain Nelson was previously McClatchy opinion editor and editorial page editor for The Kansas City Star.
"Colleen comes to this leadership role with deep and proven experience in creating powerful, mission-driven journalism that is essential to readers," said Kristin Roberts, senior vice president for news. "From her work as a political reporter at The Wall Street Journal to her Pulitzer Prize-winning opinion journalism at The Dallas Morning News and her innovative leadership in Kansas City, Colleen has consistently pursued ambitious projects with accountability at their core."
As McClatchy opinion editor, McCain Nelson has transformed its newsrooms' approach to opinion, ensuring that its writers across the country are steadfastly focused on local issues that have clear and immediate impact on local audiences and that their writing is grounded in original reporting. She has diversified opinion teams and elevated voices across the 30 communities served by McClatchy, both through hiring and the creation of Community Advisory Boards. Under her leadership and aligned with her vision that opinion should "move at the speed of news," McClatchy opinion is now among the top five content categories in driving subscriptions.
"I'm honored to be joining one of McClatchy's premier newsrooms at a moment when local news is more essential than ever," commented McCain Nelson on the promotion. "The Sacramento Bee has a well-earned reputation as an ambitious and innovative news organization, and I am eager to work with the talented journalists in Sacramento, Fresno, Modesto, San Luis Obispo and Merced on high-impact journalism that makes a difference in our communities."
McCain Nelson began her professional career as a local journalist for McClatchy covering the Kansas Legislature for The Wichita Eagle, followed by a stint at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on the local and state government beat. From there she moved to The Dallas Morning News and over the course of more than a decade, climbed the ranks from local reporter covering local politics and national reporter covering a presidential election to editorial board member and columnist. She was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing in 2010 focused on economic and social inequalities in Dallas. She joined The Wall Street Journal in 2012 as a political reporter and covered Mitt Romney's presidential campaign. She also covered President Obama's administration as White House correspondent as well as the 2016 presidential election.
McCain Nelson grew up in Salina, Kansas, and holds a B.S. in journalism from the University of Kansas. She is a Fellow at the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas and a member of the steering committee of Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.
She will start in her new role on Jan. 19 and will work remotely for a few weeks before moving to California in the first quarter of 2021.