The editor of the East Oregonian is leaving the Pendleton newspaper to take a job in education after declining revenue forced the publisher to eliminate the position.
George Murdock said he has been named superintendent of the Douglas County Education Service District in Roseburg. The district board met in special session Tuesday to formally approve his new contract.
The newspaper reported that the directors of the East Oregonian Publishing Co. decided in March to eliminate the editor’s position effective July 1.
Murdock served as superintendent of the Pasco School District from 1993-99. He also served for eight as superintendent of the Umatilla-Morrow Education Service District. From 1982-93 he was deputy superintendent of the Walla Walla School District.
John S. Perry, chief operating officer of the publishing company, said the decision was based on the financial situation faced by many newspapers that have suffered a steady decline in display and classified advertising revenue.
“In the newsroom, our goal is to maintain our rank of reporters, which is essential to the newspaper’s core mission of providing local news coverage,” Perry said.
Managing Editor Skip Nichols and Kathryn B. Brown, associate publisher of the paper and secretary-treasurer of the company, will assume responsibility for all newsroom operations after Murdock’s departure.
“While I am disappointed my position with the East Oregonian has been eliminated, I also understand these are tough economic times and the owners are having to make hard decisions,” Murdock said.
Mike Forrester, chairman of the publishing company and a former East Oregonian editor, said Murdock had been “a major asset for the newspaper with his many articles and columns, his knowledge of the people, towns, farms and economy of northeast Oregon. He has been a fine ambassador for the EO.”