Medford, Ore. — There’s a change in leadership at Southern Oregon’s largest newspaper.
The Mail Tribune announced this morning Editor Bob Hunter is stepping down after 31 years with the paper.
Cathy Noah, the paper’s city editor, will take over as the paper’s first female editor later this month.
Hunter says he’s enjoyed his time in news, even when the stories are tough.
“I worked at the Polk County Itemizer-Observer in Dallas, Oregon — not Texas. Two young women had run away — a girl, high school girls actually — and we got a call their bodies had been found in Northern California. I did the story and in the course of doing the story I tried to get in touch with the family to see if they had any pictures or if they could give us some information about them. And they wanted me to come and talk to them and so I went to their house and it was very very draining, traumatic for me as a young — I think I was probably 23, 24 years old — and I still remember that story. It kind of sunk in right then that in a very real way we’re dealing with people who have real emotions sometimes, very raw emotions.”
Noah says she never envisioned herself as Editor-in-Chief but is looking forward to taking the helm.
“I got into journalism in my Freshman year at Rogue River High School because my English teacher liked something I wrote and asked me to be on the newspaper and I’ve fallen in love with journalism ever since. I don’t know if I ever saw myself as editor of the paper. I don’t think I aspired quite that big, especially the Mail Tribune which is a well-known, respected paper in the region. So, I’m very excited to be here. I think I have a wonderful staff to work with and I have some big shoes to fill with Bob Hunter, but I’m looking forward to this new challenge.”
Hunter won’t be leaving the paper entirely, he’ll continue as part-time editor to aid the team during the transition.