MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Seattle Times CEO to step down after 4 decades in charge of family-owned paper

May 16, 2024, 3:52 PM

Photo: Seattle Times publisher and CEO Frank Blethen announced he will step down at the end of next...

Seattle Times publisher and CEO Frank Blethen announced he will step down at the end of next year after four decades of leading the paper.

Seattle Times publisher and CEO Frank Blethen has announced he will step down at the end of next year after four decades leading the newspaper his family has owned since 1896.

Blethen, 79, confirmed his plans Monday in a Seattle Times interview. He said he expects to retain his position as board chair of The Seattle Times Co.

“My mantra is that good content and useful content is what you need to attract an audience, and you need to attract an audience if you’re going to get revenue and get paid for what you do,” Blethen said. “And you know, I think right now we’re putting out a really, really, really good newspaper.”

Other local news: North Face closes downtown Seattle flagship store

Blethen, the newspaper’s seventh publisher, led The Times as it won nine Pulitzer Prizes, including one awarded in 2020 for the paper’s coverage of mistakes by Boeing leading to two 737 MAX crashes. He has also seen it through difficult lows, including the Great Recession, an industrywide contraction and a seven-week strike by Seattle Times workers that began in 2000.

Alan Fisco, the company’s president and chief financial officer, will be named CEO when Blethen steps down, Blethen wrote in a message to employees sent Monday afternoon. Blethen declined to share his preference for a successor as publisher, but he said he would like it to be a member of the Blethen family.

MyNorthwest News

Photo: Whatcom County homeless deaths are increasing, according to a report from the Opportunity Co...

KIRO Newsradio staff

Report: Whatcom County deaths of unhoused people on pace for record amount

More people are dying on the streets of Whatcom County. Opportunity Council said there have been 56 documented deaths this year.

8 hours ago

Photo: Pierce County deputies have reported an office-involved shooting....

Julia Dallas

Pierce County Sheriff’s Department reports officer-involved shooting

The Pierce County Sheriff's Department has reported a shooting involving an officer took place on Monday.

10 hours ago

Photo: King County deputies seized more than a dozen guns after making two arrests in May....

Julia Dallas

King County deputies make arrests; seize nearly 30 pounds of drugs, 18 firearms, flame thrower

King County deputies made two arrests leading to the seizure of more than 25 pounds of drugs and more than a dozen firearms.

10 hours ago

Photo: The Washington State Patrol is cracking down on people who cut in ferry lines....

James Lynch

Don’t be that person: State troopers fine ferry line cutters $145

Have you ever been frustrated by a driver who cut in line at a ferry terminal? Now the Washington State Patrol is cracking down.

11 hours ago

Photo: A deputy's body camera captured a runaway wallaby in Parkland....

Julia Dallas

Runaway wallaby hops out of arms reach of deputies in Parkland

 A wallaby was caught on camera running around Parkland Sunday morning. Pierce County deputies and WSP responded.

13 hours ago

seattle sex trafficking...

Frank Sumrall

Seattle resident arrested for sex trafficking in San José

A San José special operations unit arrested a Seattle resident last week on suspicion of alleged commercial sex trafficking.

16 hours ago

Seattle Times CEO to step down after 4 decades in charge of family-owned paper