SACRAMENTO, Calif — McClatchy, the publisher of The Sacramento Bee, The Modesto Bee, Miami Herald, and dozens of other newspapers nationwide, is filing for bankruptcy protection.

The company has struggled to pay off debt while revenue shrinks because more readers and advertisers are going online. McClatchy said Thursday that its 30 newspapers will continue to operate normally.

"This restructuring is a necessary and positive step forward for the business, and the entire Board of Directors has made great efforts to ensure the company is able to operate as usual throughout this process," said Kevin McClatchy, Chairman of McClatchy's Board of Directors.

The company aims to emerge from bankruptcy in a few months with majority ownership by a hedge fund, ending 163 years of family control.

The publisher's origins date to 1857, when it first began publishing a four-page paper in Sacramento, California. That paper became The Sacramento Bee.

In a statement to ABC10, Lauren Gustus, the Editor of The Sacramento Bee and West region editor for McClatchy echoed the statement from the company, in that the papers with continue operating normally.

"We remain fully focused on producing independent, local journalism that serves our communities, which is our focus and our mission," Gustus said. "We appreciate the continued support of our readers."

READ THE LATEST NEWS FROM ABC10:

FOR NEWS IN YOUR COMMUNITY, DOWNLOAD THE ABC10 APP:

Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Stay In the Know! Sign up now for ABC10's Daily Blend Newsletter

WATCH MORE: Louis Morton, pioneering journalist who integrated Seattle newsroom | Black History Month