Owners approve change in Pirates' ownership structure

Updated: January 18, 2007, 4:18 PM ET
Associated Press

PHOENIX -- Robert Nutting was given approval Thursday by baseball owners to take control of the Pittsburgh Pirates from Kevin McClatchy, who will remain the team's chief executive officer.

Nutting, already the chairman of the board, is the son of Wheeling, W.Va., newspaper owner G. Ogden Nutting, whose family has been one of the Pirates' primary investors under McClatchy. Nutting last week said the family owns a majority interest in the club.

McClatchy, who headed the group that bought the team before the 1996 season, will control the club's day-to-day operations. He will report to Nutting.

"I think this is just a natural change," commissioner Bud Selig said. "Kevin McClatchy, to his everlasting credit, has really run that club through very difficult times for a small market. And he really did it with a lot of grace."

The Pirates have had 14 straight losing seasons, two shy of the record set by the Philadelphia Phillies from 1933-48. They went 67-95 last year but improved after the All-Star game, going 37-35.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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