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Who We Are - The Seattle Times

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Who We Are

meet the seattle times

The Seattle Times serves the Northwest with thoughtful, independent journalism that makes a difference. We’re a news media company dedicated to the highest standards… MOREof journalism. We cut through the clutter and provide readers with news and information that is timely, relevant and easy to access in every way they consume us. Founded in 1896, The Seattle Times remains a family-owned business deeply rooted in the community and committed to principled, investigative news coverage.

NEWS THAT MATTERS

As an independent news media company, The Seattle Times digs deep to bring you the full story. Our reporting has a direct impact on our local community. The Seattle Times has coverage you won’t find anywhere else.

  • Sea Change: The Pacific’s Perilous Turn

    We sounded the alarm about ocean acidification, which threatens to disrupt marine life here and elsewhere on an almost unfathomable scale. Our award-winning work is credited with warning readers and others about one of the biggest environmental threats facing the planet, and giving them time to do something about it.
    Read story

  • Glamour Beasts: The dark side of elephant captivity

    This inside look at whether elephants are thriving inside zoos like Woodland Park reveals a troubling truth: Efforts by zoos to preserve and propagate elephants have largely failed, reflected in shockingly high mortality rates. The result: debate about the merits of captivity and changes at Woodland Park.
    Read story

  • Times Watchdog: Boarding mentally ill becoming epidemic

    We found that every day, severely mentally ill people are involuntarily detained for hours, days or longer in ERs and medical units unequipped to care for them. This led to patients being tied down to prevent them from hurting themselves. After our coverage, the state Supreme Court banned the practice.
    Read story

Sea Change

Sea Change: The Pacific’s Perilous Turn

We sounded the alarm about ocean acidification, which threatens to disrupt marine life here and elsewhere on an almost unfathomable scale. Our award-winning work is credited with warning readers and others about one of the biggest environmental threats facing the planet, and giving them time to do something about it.
Read story

Glamour Beasts

Glamour Beasts: The dark side of elephant captivity

This inside look at whether elephants are thriving inside zoos like Woodland Park reveals a troubling truth: Efforts by zoos to preserve and propagate elephants have largely failed, reflected in shockingly high mortality rates. The result: debate about the merits of captivity and changes at Woodland Park.
Read story

Times Watchdog

Times Watchdog: Boarding mentally ill becoming epidemic

We found that every day, severely mentally ill people are involuntarily detained for hours, days or longer in ERs and medical units unequipped to care for them. This led to patients being tied down to prevent them from hurting themselves. After our coverage, the state Supreme Court banned the practice.
Read story

PULITZER PRIZES

The Seattle Times is the winner of ten Pulitzer Prizes, journalism’s highest honor, and has been a finalist on 14 other occasions since 1982.

View all

PRODUCTS

The Seattle Times reaches more Northwest adults than any other local media, delivering quality content where, when and how our readers want it. Explore our diverse range of products across print and digital platforms.

Print newspaper
seattletimes.com
Mobile apps
Digital Print Replica
Content-specific newsletters
Classifieds
Advertising platforms

PRODUCTS

The Seattle Times reaches more Northwest adults than any other local media, delivering quality content where, when and how our readers want it. Explore our diverse range of products across print and digital platforms:

LEADERSHIP

Meet the leadership team whose innovation, business acumen and technical savvy are propelling The Seattle Times into the future as a news media company. These experienced executives remain dedicated stewards of The Seattle Times’ 120-year history of principled journalism and public service.

Frank A. Blethen

Publisher

Frank Blethen is a fourth-generation member of the Blethen family, which founded The Seattle Times in 1896. He has been Publisher since 1985, having joined the family business full time in 1968. He held a variety of training positions at The Seattle Times until 1974 when he joined The Seattle Times-owned Walla Walla Union-Bulletin as Publisher. He returned to The Seattle Times in 1980 and held executive positions in circulation, advertising, marketing and labor.

A graduate of Arizona State University, Blethen has done post-graduate work at Harvard. He is known for his civic involvement as well as his generosity in donating to many causes in the community, most notably in the areas of higher education, cultural diversity and health and human services.

Blethen is deeply committed to diversity, equal opportunity and inclusion. His other passions include his family, preserving family-owned businesses and independent journalism.

Don Shelton

Executive Editor

Don Shelton is a 40-year journalist and a Seattle Times staff member since 1987. He was the Seattle Times’ Assistant Sports Editor for 22 years, leading preps coverage and coordinating Huskies and Seahawks game-day coverage. Shelton became Seattle Times Sports Editor in 2009, transforming the department into a sophisticated, reader-engagement, print, digital and social-media operation. In June 2016, he was named Executive Editor to lead the newspaper as it transitions toward an increasingly digital landscape.

Prior to joining the Seattle Times, Shelton held journalism positions at the Yakima Herald-Republic, the (Bellevue) Journal-American and the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat. He is a graduate of the University of Idaho.

Ryan Blethen

Associate Publisher and Assistant Managing Editor, Digital Morning Initiative

As Assistant Managing Editor/Digital, Ryan Blethen oversees the digital news operation at The Seattle Times. Blethen also holds the position of Associate Publisher of The Seattle Times, serving as a member of the company’s executive leadership team.

Prior to his move into the newsroom, Blethen oversaw all product development and management for digital and print in his role as Director of New Product Strategies. Blethen has also served as The Seattle Times Editorial Page Editor.

A fifth-generation member of the Blethen family, Blethen has worked as a reporter or editor at newspapers in Yakima and Spokane, and Portland, Maine. His great-great-grandfather, Alden Blethen, founded The Times in 1896. Ryan Blethen is a graduate of Washington State University and attended journalism school at the University of Kansas.

Alan Fisco

President and Chief Financial Officer

Alan Fisco provides oversight and leadership of The Seattle Times’ executive team, and maintains direct leadership of finance, circulation, operations, human resources and labor. He is also responsible for The Seattle Times’ affiliate newspapers, the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin and the Yakima Herald-Republic, and its commercial printing subsidiary, Rotary Offset Press.

Fisco celebrated his 25th anniversary with The Seattle Times in 2017. He joined the company as the Single Copy Sales Manager in 1992 and has held multiple leadership positions, including Vice President of Circulation and Marketing. In 2013, Fisco was promoted to Senior Vice President and in 2016, he was named Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Fisco currently serves as a member of the International News Media Association, and is on the Board of Directors of the Inland Press Association and the Seattle Chamber of Commerce. He is the immediate past Board Chair and current Treasurer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound. Fisco has a B.A. in economics from the University of Washington.

Gary Smith

Vice President, Advertising

As Vice President of Advertising, Gary Smith is responsible for the successful execution of revenue-generating initiatives covering print and digital platforms. Smith oversees the ongoing evolution of The Seattle Times’ sales functions and the development of innovative partnership packages.

An Omak native, Smith has decades of experience in news media, most recently at The News & Observer newspaper in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., where he was Vice President of Advertising. Prior to working for the News & Observer, he worked at The News Tribune in Tacoma for 13 years. Smith is a graduate of Eastern Washington University.

Sharon Pian Chan

Vice President, Innovation, Product and Development

As Vice President of Innovation, Product and Development, Sharon Chan is responsible for leading content funding and development and maintaining funder relationships. This new position combines The Seattle Times’ innovation in developing non-traditional funding for impact journalism with its evolving capacity to create new products and services for digital, engagement and print platforms. Chan leads the product team in building innovative products to distribute Seattle Times content, engaging readers and acquiring subscribers. She also manages the Business Intelligence group, which uses data insights to drive business success.

Chan first joined The Seattle Times as an intern and spent many years as a reporter covering global institutions rooted in Seattle such as Microsoft and T-Mobile. Prior to her current role, she was Associate Opinion Editor. She holds a bachelor’s degree in literature from Pomona College and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in business administration from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She has served as national president of the nonprofit Asian American Journalists Association and as a board member of UNITY: Journalists for Diversity. Before joining The Seattle Times, she was Managing Editor for Orange Coast magazine in Newport Beach, California.

Craig Eidem

Vice President of Information Technology

As Vice President of Information Technology, Eidem leads the technology functions and drives strategic cross-company initiatives to maximize The Seattle Times’ journalistic mission. He brings 17 years of experience leading large-scale IT organizations for national network and cloud-based companies implementing new systems and business models.

Eidem’s expertise includes developing cloud-based architecture, developing national hosted voice platforms, aligning network operating costs and leading organizations through transformational change. Previously, he served as CTO of AboveCloud, where he oversaw all aspects of engineering, development and information technology. A Seattle native, Eidem joined The Seattle Times in 2017 and will champion the next phase of the company’s innovation and growth.

Kate Riley

Editorial Page Editor

As Editorial Page Editor, Kate Riley has oversight of the opinion voice of The Seattle Times and the editorial staff.

An award-winning journalist, Riley joined The Seattle Times in May 2002 as an Editorial Writer and Columnist, focusing on energy issues and urban-rural tensions. Riley started her daily newspaper career at The Times-owned Walla Walla Union-Bulletin in 1985 where she covered agriculture and business. In 1988, she moved to the Tri-City Herald, where she covered business and education, served as Assistant to the Publisher, Editorial Writer and, finally, as Editorial Page Editor.

A Redmond High School graduate, Riley graduated from the University of Washington with majors in economics and communications. Riley is a former board member for the Association of Opinion Journalists (formerly the National Conference of Editorial Writers), and previously served as Editor of the Masthead, its quarterly journal. Additionally, she chaired the organization’s ethics, innovations and nominating committees.

Kati Erwert

Vice President of Marketing and Public Service

Kati Erwert leads The Seattle Times’ marketing department and oversees the organization’s public service and community engagement initiatives. She is a key member of the audience and subscription team, dedicated to growing The Seattle Times’ readership and subscriber base in the Puget Sound and beyond.

Erwert runs the annual Fund For The Needy holiday drive, and works directly with the Publisher to evolve initiatives like The Greater Good Campaign to improve public education. She has expanded the traditional marketing function to include an innovative portfolio of strategic partnerships. Erwert joined The Seattle Times in 2007, and previously served as the Director of Marketing.


Frank A. Blethen
Publisher

Frank Blethen is a fourth-generation member of the Blethen family, which founded The Seattle Times in 1896. He has been Publisher since 1985, having joined the family business full time in 1968. He held a variety of training positions at The Seattle Times until 1974 when he joined The Seattle Times-owned Walla Walla Union-Bulletin as Publisher. He returned to The Seattle Times in 1980 and held executive positions in circulation, advertising, marketing and labor.

A graduate of Arizona State University, Blethen has done post-graduate work at Harvard. He is known for his civic involvement as well as his generosity in donating to many causes in the community, most notably in the areas of higher education, cultural diversity and health and human services.

Blethen is deeply committed to diversity, equal opportunity and inclusion. His other passions include his family, preserving family-owned businesses and independent journalism.

Don Shelton
Executive Editor

Don Shelton is a 40-year journalist and a Seattle Times staff member since 1987. He was the Seattle Times’ Assistant Sports Editor for 22 years, leading preps coverage and coordinating Huskies and Seahawks game-day coverage. Shelton became Seattle Times Sports Editor in 2009, transforming the department into a sophisticated, reader-engagement, print, digital and social-media operation. In June 2016, he was named Executive Editor to lead the newspaper as it transitions toward an increasingly digital landscape.

Prior to joining the Seattle Times, Shelton held journalism positions at the Yakima Herald-Republic, the (Bellevue) Journal-American and the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat. He is a graduate of the University of Idaho.

Ryan Blethen
Associate Publisher and Assistant Managing Editor, Digital Morning Initiative

As Assistant Managing Editor/Digital, Ryan Blethen oversees the digital news operation at The Seattle Times. Blethen also holds the position of Associate Publisher of The Seattle Times, serving as a member of the company’s executive leadership team.

Prior to his move into the newsroom, Blethen oversaw all product development and management for digital and print in his role as Director of New Product Strategies. Blethen has also served as The Seattle Times Editorial Page Editor.

A fifth-generation member of the Blethen family, Blethen has worked as a reporter or editor at newspapers in Yakima and Spokane, and Portland, Maine. His great-great-grandfather, Alden Blethen, founded The Times in 1896. Ryan Blethen is a graduate of Washington State University and attended journalism school at the University of Kansas.

Alan Fisco
President and Chief Financial Officer

Alan Fisco provides oversight and leadership of The Seattle Times’ executive team, and maintains direct leadership of finance, circulation, operations, human resources and labor. He is also responsible for The Seattle Times’ affiliate newspapers, the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin and the Yakima Herald-Republic, and its commercial printing subsidiary, Rotary Offset Press.

Fisco celebrated his 25th anniversary with The Seattle Times in 2017. He joined the company as the Single Copy Sales Manager in 1992 and has held multiple leadership positions, including Vice President of Circulation and Marketing. In 2013, Fisco was promoted to Senior Vice President and in 2016, he was named Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Fisco currently serves as a member of the International News Media Association, and is on the Board of Directors of the Inland Press Association and the Seattle Chamber of Commerce. He is the immediate past Board Chair and current Treasurer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound. Fisco has a B.A. in economics from the University of Washington.

Gary Smith
Vice President, Advertising

As Vice President of Advertising, Gary Smith is responsible for the successful execution of revenue-generating initiatives covering print and digital platforms. Smith oversees the ongoing evolution of The Seattle Times’ sales functions and the development of innovative partnership packages.

An Omak native, Smith has decades of experience in news media, most recently at The News & Observer newspaper in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., where he was Vice President of Advertising. Prior to working for the News & Observer, he worked at The News Tribune in Tacoma for 13 years. Smith is a graduate of Eastern Washington University.

Sharon Chan
Vice President, Innovation, Product and Development

As Vice President of Innovation, Product and Development, Sharon Chan is responsible for leading content funding and development and maintaining funder relationships. This new position combines The Seattle Times’ innovation in developing non-traditional funding for impact journalism with its evolving capacity to create new products and services for digital, engagement and print platforms. Chan leads the product team in building innovative products to distribute Seattle Times content, engaging readers and acquiring subscribers. She also manages the Business Intelligence group, which uses data insights to drive business success.

Chan first joined The Seattle Times as an intern and spent many years as a reporter covering global institutions rooted in Seattle such as Microsoft and T-Mobile. Prior to her current role, she was Associate Opinion Editor. She holds a bachelor’s degree in literature from Pomona College and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in business administration from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She has served as national president of the nonprofit Asian American Journalists Association and as a board member of UNITY: Journalists for Diversity. Before joining The Seattle Times, she was Managing Editor for Orange Coast magazine in Newport Beach, California.

Craig Eidem
Vice President of Information Technology

As Vice President of Information Technology, Eidem leads the technology functions and drives strategic cross-company initiatives to maximize The Seattle Times’ journalistic mission. He brings 17 years of experience leading large-scale IT organizations for national network and cloud-based companies implementing new systems and business models.

Eidem’s expertise includes developing cloud-based architecture, developing national hosted voice platforms, aligning network operating costs and leading organizations through transformational change. Previously, he served as CTO of AboveCloud, where he oversaw all aspects of engineering, development and information technology. A Seattle native, Eidem joined The Seattle Times in 2017 and will champion the next phase of the company’s innovation and growth.

Kate Riley
Editorial Page Editor

As Editorial Page Editor, Kate Riley has oversight of the opinion voice of The Seattle Times and the editorial staff.

An award-winning journalist, Riley joined The Seattle Times in May 2002 as an Editorial Writer and Columnist, focusing on energy issues and urban-rural tensions. Riley started her daily newspaper career at The Times-owned Walla Walla Union-Bulletin in 1985 where she covered agriculture and business. In 1988, she moved to the Tri-City Herald, where she covered business and education, served as Assistant to the Publisher, Editorial Writer and, finally, as Editorial Page Editor.

A Redmond High School graduate, Riley graduated from the University of Washington with majors in economics and communications. Riley is a former board member for the Association of Opinion Journalists (formerly the National Conference of Editorial Writers), and previously served as Editor of the Masthead, its quarterly journal. Additionally, she chaired the organization’s ethics, innovations and nominating committees.

Kati Erwert
Vice President of Marketing and Public Service

Kati Erwert leads The Seattle Times’ marketing department and oversees the organization’s public service and community engagement initiatives. She is a key member of the audience and subscription team, dedicated to growing The Seattle Times’ readership and subscriber base in the Puget Sound and beyond.

Erwert runs the annual Fund For The Needy holiday drive, and works directly with the Publisher to evolve initiatives like The Greater Good Campaign to improve public education. She has expanded the traditional marketing function to include an innovative portfolio of strategic partnerships. Erwert joined The Seattle Times in 2007, and previously served as the Director of Marketing.

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