(AP) Chris Peck, editor of The Spokesman-Review since 1982, has resigned, effective Dec. 14.
During his tenure, the newspaper was named one of the top 25 in the country by the Columbia Journalism Review and received local, regional, and national awards for its photography, design, investigative reporting, and civic journalism initiatives.
“I’m going to spend some time to think about the options,” Peck said Monday. “This has been a tremendously creative experience. I want to continue to grow and develop in some manner.”
Peck, 51, is leaving at a time when 25 editorial positions are being cut because of budget concerns, the first such cuts in the newspaper’s history.
The reporters, photographers, editors, and other staff members were laid off or accepted voluntary enhanced severance packages as the newspaper attempted to trim operating costs.
Publisher Stacey Cowles praised Peck for his record as editor. “I have valued greatly his leadership in the newsroom, his humor, his creativity, and his commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethics in journalism,” Cowles said.
Cowles said a replacement will be named in a few weeks.
Peck, who was a Spokesman-Review columnist before being named top editor, recently completed a one-year term as president of the Associated Press Managing Editors organization.
“Chris made a huge contribution with APME,” said AP Executive Editor Jonathan Wolman. “During a challenging period for newspaper editors, he was a fountain of energy and ideas — especially in management and leadership issues.”
The Spokesman-Review was established in 1884, and has a daily circulation of just over 100,000.
The newspaper is family owned by Cowles Publishing Co., which also owns KHQ-TV of Spokane, a newsprint mill, extensive downtown property, and other holdings.