The executive editor of the Seattle Times and guiding light of the paper's newsroom, David Boardman, is leaving after 30 years to work at Temple University in Philadelphia, according to a letter sent to the paper's staff today by publisher Frank Blethen. Boardman will be replaced, at least for now, by managing editors Kathy Best and Suki Dardarian.

I've posted Blethen's letter after the jump, which details Boardman's outstanding career at the city's last big daily paper.

It's no secret that The Stranger has lobbed plenty of complaints at the Seattle Times over the years—mostly Blethen's embarrassingly simplistic editorial page—but I don't think we've ever lobbed one at Boardman. At least not directly. He's overseen outstanding investigative journalism and fostered some hardworking, incisive reporters that have helped define the news in Seattle for radio, television, and other print outlets. I don't wanna get too purple about all this, but Seattle losing Boardman is a loss for the whole town.

July 10, 2013

To All Seattle Times Employees:

It is with mixed feelings I share with you that our Executive Editor David Boardman has accepted a remarkable opportunity and will be leaving The Seattle Times after 30 years, the last seven as our executive editor. Dave has accepted an offer to be dean of the School of Media and Communication at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Dave is simply one of the very best journalists I have had the privilege to work with in my career. He is a great colleague and a very special friend. There is no more unique and special relationship than the one between editor and publisher. I will miss his presence, his partnership and his counsel.

At the same time, I am excited for Dave in his next journey. There is no doubt in his new role Dave will have a significant impact on journalism education and on the national dialogue concerning the critical importance of high quality, independent journalism to the future of our democracy.

Dave is quick to point out that Temple and The Seattle Times share core values of robust, independent journalism, media diversity, diversity and inclusion, and social justice.

Dave is one of the nation’s most respected journalists, as attested to by his past presidency of the Investigative Reporters and Editors and his current leadership of the American Society of Newspaper Editors. Dave’s well-earned national recognition is due, in part, to his having directed, over his tenure as an editor for The Seattle Times, four Pulitzer Prize-winning team projects.

As Seattle Times investigative editor, he put us on the national map as one of the few print and digital newspapers still committed to bold and courageous investigative journalism – a legacy we will continue to nurture. Dave has been widely recognized for his outstanding contributions in the area of investigative journalism, as noted by his being awarded Harvard University’s Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, the Worth Bingham Prize in Investigative Reporting, the Investigative Reporters and Editors Award and the Associated Press Managing Editors Public Service Award, among many others.

I am especially grateful to Dave for leading our newsroom through the most economically challenging time in our history while keeping our public service mission and quality, independent journalism intact. This is a feat few other metro newspapers have been able to accomplish.

I am also appreciative of the exceptional team of editors Dave has nurtured and led especially Managing Editors Kathy Best and Suki Dardarian, who will continue to deliver daily excellence to Seattle Times readers. With Dave’s departure, Suki and Kathy will both be reporting directly to me.

Please join me and the entire Blethen family in wishing Dave well on his new journey and thanking him for his extraordinary friendship, outstanding leadership and journalistic integrity.


Frank