Merced Sun-Star Publisher Hank Vander Veen announced Monday he would resign from the newspaper's top post to pursue other opportunities.
"I'm real proud of what we've accomplished here in six years," Vander Veen told a stunned Sun-Star staff. "It's a tough decision, but one I've been thinking about for a while. I'm ready to move on and start a new chapter."
Vander Veen, a 25-year McClatchy Co. employee, will leave Friday. He's served as the Sun-Star's publisher since 2004, when McClatchy bought the paper from Pacific-Sierra Publishing Inc.
The announcement was made during an employee meeting. McClatchy's Vice President of Operations Frank Whittaker came down from Sacramento for the announcement.