- Associated Press - Friday, April 8, 2016

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Orage Quarles III, who led The News & Observer of Raleigh through turbulent times in the industry and guided efforts to diversify its business, says he is retiring as president and publisher.

The newspaper reported on its website Friday (https://bit.ly/1NeuB3k) that McClatchy, its corporate parent, announced that the 65-year-old Quarles is retiring as of June 3. Quarles called his 16 years in his post “a heck of a ride.”

Under his leadership, The News & Observer doubled its roster of free community newspapers, launched Walter Magazine and expanded its online presence. During that time, the newspaper was hurt by economic forces that reduced advertising revenue and triggered major reductions in personnel at newspapers nationwide.

McClatchy CEO Pat Talamantes praised Quarles in a prepared statement for being “entrepreneurial and focused. He exhibits class and grace in all situations. Orage will fight for his people, his community and his ideals.”

Quarles was named Publisher of the Year by Editor & Publisher in 2002 and was chairman of the Newspaper Association of America from 2001-2002. He also has served on the board of The Associated Press.

Quarles said he has been mulling retirement for a while and that he was pleased to be able to do so in the wake of several recent accomplishments. They include the recent sale of the paper’s downtown Raleigh headquarters on South McDowell Street to a local group. As part of that deal, The N&O; has agreed to a long-term lease of about 50,000 square feet of space at the site.

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