McClatchy, which owns the News and Observer in Raleigh and daily newspapers in Durham as well as Charlotte, is putting its future digital strategy under the guidance of a N.C. State and Duke University graduate who lives in the Triangle.

He is Scott Manuel, who is leaving an executive role at Thomson Reuters to join McClatchy. He has worked for Thomson Reuters since 2010. Prior to that Manuel was a portfolio manager at Franklin Street Partners in Chapel Hill.

And Manuel brings extensive experience to the new job.

“I build amazing products in the blockchain, digital identity, mobile, wearable, predictive analytics, and personalization spaces,” he says in his LinkedIn profile.

“I test new ideas, collaborate with customers, partner with startups, and change old industry practices. I disrupt the status quo and build great teams to deliver. I innovate.”

New position

McClatchy on Monday named Manuel vice president of digital product and technology, which the California-based company described as a “newly created position.” Manuel will be based in Raleigh, which McClatchy describes as a “technology hub for the company.”

The News and Observer traces its digital heritage to, one of the first Internet efforts launched by a daily newspaper in 1994. McClatchy later purchased the N&O from the Daniels family.

Christian Hendricks, who led digital efforts for McClatchy for nearly two decades and worked at the company for 25 years, retired in May.

Under recently named CEO Craig Forman, the newspaper and media chain has placed growing importance on digital media across its 30 properties spread across 14 states.

“Scott brings a wealth of management, technology and product development experience to McClatchy. His energy and entrepreneurial drive will be a strong leadership force in our management team and I am confident that he will bring added value and focus to our product development and technology efforts,” said Forman said in a statement.

Digital experience

Manuel held multiple roles at Thomson Reuters, the most recent being vice president of applied innovation.

McClatchy said Manuel “expanded product capabilities by developing innovative solutions and partnering with customers, start-ups, and market leaders in blockchain, digital identity, predictive analytics, augmented reality, wearable, and mobile technologies.”

“I am extremely excited to join McClatchy and build on its rich media history. Creating new digital products for our customers offers enormous opportunities for the business and the markets we serve,” Manuel said in a statement.

Manuel earned a computer engineering degree at NCSU and an MBA at The Fuqua School of Business at Duke. He is a Durham resident.

The News and Observer Publishing Company also owns 10 twice-weekly newspapers offering community coverage in Chapel Hill, Durham, Cary, Southwest Wake, Eastern Wake, Garner, Clayton, Smithfield, North Raleigh and Midtown Raleigh, according to its website.