The New Year brings a number of upheavals to the media landscape in Central Oregon as a number of prominent figure in Central Oregon's print media move out of their positions.
At the city's daily newspaper, longtime publisher Gordon Black officially retired after two decades in the position. Black was at the helm of the publication during a time of probably the greatest changes and challenges for daily newspapers in history. In the 90s, newspapers were plump, but starting at the turn of the century, online ads drained revenue and new sources of media have distracted readers from their traditional sources of 20th century information.
With revenue drained by online ads, many daily newspapers have suffered, with the closure of major daily newspapers in cities like Seattle, Cincinnati and Denver. Other newspapers like the Oregonian have drastically trimmed back circulation and scrambled to stay solvent.
During these turbulent years, Black maintained the Bend Bulletin's circulation and offices, but was forced to tighten the publication's belt to do so, filing for bankruptcy for the paper's parent company, Western Communications, in 2011 and, last Thanksgiving, cutting its staff's health insurance plan. With Black's departure, longtime Editor-in-Chief John Costa is stepping into the Publisher position. Costa has been at the newspaper since 1997, when he was hired by Black, and pulled over from the Idaho Statesman. . .There are also changes afoot at the Cascade A&E (pun intended). Art Director Renee Patrick plans to depart at the end of March on a "big hiking adventure." (Can someone say Cheryl Strayed?) Patrick has helped keep the publication current with changing technology and eye-catching designs. The change opens up the opportunity, says Publisher Pamela Hulse Andrews, for someone to shake up both the creative and editorial sides of the publication; "someone who," she says, "of course, can do everything: creative designer, writer, manager, community oriented." Andrews adds, "Cascade A&E turns twenty this year so there will be a lot of design changes and upgrades to the magazine, website and app.". . .
Other media changes? Oh, right, and we're hiring a new associate editor. Our Arts, Culture and Music Editor Brianna Brey, who grew up in Bend, is leaving the nest! After graduating from the University of Oregon (go Ducks!), Bri returned to Bend and worked as an intern for the Source "probably for three or four months," she recalls. Then, like a tick burrowing in (we love you, Bri!) she started here part-time and finally was offered a full-time job. "I just hung out so long that they finally said, 'Fine, you can work here,'" she recounts. Her first paid assignment was profiling a Portland band, Animal Eyes, who she first met for the interview and has remained friends with since. Brey sheepishly points out that her writing hero, Chuck Klosterman, says that being friends with anyone you write about is the sign of a bad writer. We are proud of the writer that Bri has become and that she has matured into an unflappable interviewer who can disarm even the most jaded rock star, an editor that can juggle more plates in the air than the Cat in the Hat, and the loudest person in the office. Our loss is the Portland Mercury's gain, where she takes a position generating social media and organizing events.
And, in non-media news, but jibing on the theme of ch-ch-changes, it is easy to forget that back in May, voters elected a new district attorney. After a nearly seven-month lull—almost enough time to grow a baby!—John Hummel was finally sworn in as the new DA for Deschutes County at an early morning event on Monday morning.
Welcome aboard, John. Time to start busting heads! Oh, we mean, time for a new, gentler, collaborative approach on fighting crime, as promised during his campaign.