Empire welcomes new staffer, bids farewell to another

The Juneau Empire welcomed a familiar face to its newsroom last week, while saying goodbye to another.

Lisa Phu joined the Empire on Friday as a general assignment reporter, which also was the last day for longtime arts editor and Capital City Weekly editor Amy Fletcher.

Phu had previously worked as a news reporter for KTOO Public Media in Juneau and as a production assistant for Gavel to Gavel since 2013. Prior to that, she worked for KSTK Stikine River Radio and the Wrangell Sentinel.

“We’re fortunate to have someone of Lisa’s caliber and local knowledge,” Empire Director of Audience Charles Westmoreland said. “Having worked alongside Lisa in the past, I know first-hand the reputation and integrity she brings to the job.”

Fletcher first joined the Empire full time in 2009 as the editor of the paper’s fledgling Arts section, and in 2015 she took the helm of the Capital City Weekly when the Empire’s Arts section merged with the CCW. She accepted a position with Sealaska Heritage Institute as a publications specialist.

“I can honestly say I have never had a boring interview in seven years,” Fletcher said. “Working as arts editor has been a fascinating education in what makes this place so special and I’m grateful for the opportunity.”

Said Westmoreland: “It’s always tough to replace the kind of institutional knowledge that someone like Amy possesses after so many years on the job, but we’re excited for Amy and this new opportunity. She was a great journalist and a great friend who will be sorely missed by us all.”

CCW staff writer Mary Catharine Martin has been named interim editor for the CCW until a permanent replacement is named.

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