EO Media Group, which will take ownership of The Bulletin and Redmond Spokesman on Sept. 1, will not retain Bulletin editor Erik Lukens, the company announced Wednesday.
Lukens, who has served as editor since 2016, joined the paper in 1998 as the editorial page editor. He became city editor in 2011 and left in 2012 to become editorial page editor at The Oregonian, where he and his staff won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing in 2014.
Heidi Wright, chief operating officer of EO Media, said the editor position is critical to the paper and the company felt a change was needed. The decision had nothing to do with Lukens’ ability as an editor, she said.
“That’s pretty normal when a newspaper changes ownership,” Wright said.
EO Media Group does not intend to hire an editor from within the company, but rather is interviewing outside candidates. Wright said the company hopes to have an editor hired by September, when EO Media Group takes over The Bulletin.
“I am grateful for my time at The Bulletin and appreciate everything the Chandler family has done for the paper and the community during its many years of ownership,” Lukens said, referring to the family that has owned the newspaper since 1953. “I wish EO Media the best.”
EO Media Group also announced Wednesday it plans to move The Bulletin’s printing operation to Prineville.
Pamplin Media Group, which owns the Central Oregonian in Prineville, is replacing its old press and plans to have its new facility operating by Nov. 1. At that time, the Prineville facility would start printing The Bulletin and Redmond Spokesman, Wright said.
The Bulletin’s printing facility on Chandler Avenue in Bend is for sale and needs to be vacated, Wright said.
Pamplin Media Group intends to hire additional staff to help run the Prineville printing facility. How many will be hired and how many will come from The Bulletin’s printing facility have not yet been determined, Wright said.
EO Media Group was the high bidder at an auction July 29 for The Bulletin and Redmond Spokesman, offering $3.65 million for Central Oregon’s century-old daily newspaper and a sister weekly.
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