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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

David Boardman Leaving the Seattle Times

Posted by on Wed, Jul 10, 2013 at 5:55 PM

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.



Comments (14) RSS

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I'm Comin' for ya Mama! 1
Good for him. It's a good time to jump ship.
Posted by I'm Comin' for ya Mama! on July 10, 2013 at 6:13 PM · Report this
leek 2
He's a very nice guy, and what @1 said. Good luck to him!
Posted by leek on July 10, 2013 at 6:18 PM · Report this
Goldy 4
He could have chosen any School of Media and Communications. He chose Temple.
Posted by Goldy on July 10, 2013 at 9:07 PM · Report this
Just Jeff 5
Any journalist with an ounce of integrity would leave the Seattle Times. Those that remain are sellouts and suspects to the nth degree.
Posted by Just Jeff on July 10, 2013 at 9:37 PM · Report this
Frank can't write for shit.
Posted by DOUG. on July 10, 2013 at 11:37 PM · Report this

Seattle doesn't have newspapers...they have newsletters.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on July 11, 2013 at 1:09 AM · Report this
Don't blame him for leaving. Academia will offer him much more security and respect.
Posted by Fizgig on July 11, 2013 at 2:38 AM · Report this
I might add this to my comment above:

The Seattle Times, while it has many fine journalists who work there, has been slipping in its production of responsible journalism.

It was the focus of a WA News Council complaint, largely upheld for the complainant, in June of this year. The last time the ST was the focus of such a complaint? Over 10 years ago.

The last 18 months have not been pretty for David Boardman with the McKenna ad controversy and newsroom revolt. He also was faced with journalists who think it is OK to go down on state government officials and become their surrogate mouthpieces rather than holding these clowns accountable.

I'd leave, too, no matter what university offered an out.

The job was posted in late December and they wrapped up their candidate interviews in late April, so he obviously applied.

What other changes can we expect (and hope for) with Blethen's masterpiece? Shall we make a wish list, starting with the editorial board?
Posted by Fizgig on July 11, 2013 at 4:10 AM · Report this
I agree; Boardman is a straight shooter in an otherwise myopic newspaper. It's a loss for the Times.
Posted by westello on July 11, 2013 at 7:13 AM · Report this
@12: I admire your ability to make the implicit, explicit.

When did the buck stop at the underlings? In deserting a sinking ship, did Boardman help steer it headfirst into the iceberg?

I'd love to hear from those insiders who may have an informed opinion....

Posted by Fizgig on July 11, 2013 at 10:11 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 14
What @1 said.

I wish him well. Great reporter over the years.
Posted by Will in Seattle on July 11, 2013 at 10:17 AM · Report this
Dominic Holden 15
@12) Your point is right on, and touche, but if, for once, someone is branding me with a "zeal to be nice," I'll accept it.
Posted by Dominic Holden on July 11, 2013 at 10:25 AM · Report this
Boardman probably just got tired of hating himself 24/7. And also, of wondering when ship was going to go down.
Posted by PCM on July 11, 2013 at 11:08 AM · Report this
@5 You have no idea what the fuck you're talking about.
Posted by pkbrown on July 11, 2013 at 1:17 PM · Report this

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