Hale to step down as Empire publisher

28-year newspaper veteran to work as financial consultant

Posted: Friday, July 17, 2009

Juneau Empire Publisher Robert O. Hale announced Wednesday he will step down next month from the newspaper's top post.

Hale, a 28-year veteran of the newspaper industry and publisher at the Empire for the last six, is making a career transition. He has accepted a position as a financial consultant for Edward Jones, one of the nation's largest consulting firms serving more than 7 million clients in North America and Europe. His final day at the Empire will be Aug. 14.

"Being in Alaska has been a rich and rewarding experience, and having worked with this team of talented, dedicated people has been the highlight of my career," he told the newspaper staff on Wednesday. "It is time for my wife and I to live where we want to live in the Puget Sound area and, as my grandfather would say, to farm in new fields."

Hale's wife, Deana, who for the past five years has worked in the development office at the University of Alaska Southeast, is also joining the Edward Jones team as a financial consultant. The couple will move to the Seattle area for training purposes in October before being assigned their respective offices toward year-end.

Hale, 51, came to Juneau from the Walton Tribune, a semiweekly newspaper in Monroe, Ga., where he was publisher for nine years. Before that he published newspapers in southwest Kansas, Arkansas and Texas.

Hale, a native of Texas, holds a journalism degree from Texas Christian University. He got his start in the news business as a temporary legislative reporter for The Associated Press in Topeka, Kan.

He distinguished himself as a photojournalist, but was drawn into publishing after editing newspapers in Iowa and Missouri for several years.

No immediate announcements have been made as to who will replace him.

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