East Oregonian, Hermiston Herald bring in new year with changes in leadership teams

Kathryn Brown
Kathryn Brown

A fourth-generation member of the East Oregonian family will become publisher on Jan. 5 following the retirement of Tom Brown.

Associate Publisher Kathryn Brown will assume the publisher role at the EO and Hermiston Herald, working closely with Bob Carruth, who will become associate publisher/general manager.

Tom Brown — who is not related to Kathryn Brown — has been on the board of directors of the East Oregonian Publishing Co. since 1999, and will continue to serve as a director after his retirement as publisher. He will stay on with the company for several months, working on projects for the company’s newspapers.

“I am very pleased to be passing on the EO publisher responsibilities to Kathryn,” Brown said. “It is rare in American journalism to have a newspaper remain in the family for the fourth generation. Eastern Oregon is very fortunate to have such long-term ownership that cares so much for the health of its communities and great journalism.”

Kathryn Brown has been associate publisher since 2007, and has been on the East Oregonian Publishing Co. board of directors since 1997. Her great-grandfather, E.B. Aldrich, was EO editor and became an owner in 1908. Her grandmother, Amy Aldrich Bedford, and mother, Jacqueline Bedford Brown, also worked in the family newspaper business until their deaths in 2006 and 2009.

Brown and her cousins, Michael A. Forrester and Stephen A. Forrester, are the company’s majority shareholders. Kathryn and her husband, Andrew J. Picken, live in Pendleton with their two young children.

She has a bachelor of science degree in nursing from the University of San Francisco and a master’s in nursing from Oregon Health & Science University. As a registered nurse and then as a family nurse practitioner, she worked for 15 years in several hospitals and clinics in Northern California and Oregon, and then for the Peace Corps in Togo, West Africa.

During her time as associate publisher, Brown has been involved with the purchase of the Hermiston Herald, the EO’s conversion to morning delivery, installation of a solar voltaic system, and the change to five-day publication with an expanded weekend edition.

Brown serves on the boards of the Guardian Care Center and Pendleton Academies. She is a member of the Pendleton Progress Board, Air Quality Committee, EOCI Prison Advisory Committee, Community Health Assessment & Response Team and the Pendleton School District Key Communicators group.

Bob Carruth
Bob Carruth

Bob Carruth will become associate publisher/general manager for the East Oregonian and Hermiston Herald. Carruth most recently served as general manager for these newspapers focusing on advertising, a position he has held since February 2012. His new position will expand his responsibilities to circulation and production. He previously served as ad director for EOPC’s agricultural newspaper, the Capital Press, in Salem.

“Bob brings significant newspaper, online and technical expertise to our company,” Kathryn Brown said. “His organizational and interpersonal skills make him a great manager and colleague. His creativity and openness to new ideas will help the EO and Herald thrive in these challenging times.”

Carruth began his newspaper career as a sales executive in 1984 at the Idaho Press Tribune in Nampa. He has been an advertising leader for a number of newspapers during his career including Emmett, Idaho; Moses Lake, Wash.; Kalispell, Mont.; Huron, S.D.; Sioux City, Iowa;
Oceanside, Calif.; Albany and Corvallis. He has been a leader in media marketing and responsible for launching new publications and audience-focused initiatives for both online and print across the U.S.

“As someone who has spent his career in newspapers, I am excited to have the opportunity to continue to serve our community and to help our local businesses reach new customers in a new media environment, Carruth said. “The East Oregonian and Hermiston Herald are well positioned to serve the needs of area businesses with print and online coverage, and I am excited to be leading the sales, circulation and production teams.”

Carruth grew up in Bend, graduated from high school in Vale, and attended Treasure Valley Community College in Ontario. He and his wife, Gloria, have three grown children. Carruth is currently on the board of the Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation and a member of the Pendleton Rotary Club.

Tom Brown
Tom Brown

Tom Brown began his career as editor of the OSU Barometer and then as a reporter for the Billings (Mont.) Gazette in 1970 after earning journalism degrees from Oregon State and Northwestern Universities. He became general manager and then publisher of the daily in Missoula, Mont., in 1976 and publisher of the Concord (N.H.) Monitor in 1987. Brown became CEO of Newspapers of New England, the Monitor’s parent company, in 2005. He first retired in 2009 to Montana. He joined the East Oregonian and Hermiston Herald in April 2010 after having served on the company board for over a decade.

During Brown’s tenure in New Hampshire, the staff of the Concord Monitor received many awards, including journalism’s highest honor – the Pulitzer Prize – for photography in 2008. It was also named by Time magazine and editors polled by the Columbia Journalism Review as one
of the nation’s best newspapers. The East Oregonian has also won top honors in its circulation category the past two years from the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association and ranked second in a National Newspaper Association excellence contest.

“It has been such a pleasure to work closely with Tom these past few years. His depth of newspaper experience and excellent business judgment have helped strengthen the EO and Herald.” Kathryn Brown said. “Our family is grateful to Tom for all he has brought to our company over the years, and are glad he will continue to be on our board of directors.”