Bert Etling, editor of The Cambrian for nearly 14 years, is leaving next week to become editor of the Ashland Daily Tidings in Ashland, Ore. His last day will be July 10.
“It’s with a mixture of sadness and excitement that I leave this unique place,” Etling said, adding that he’s honored to have been part of the community and The Cambrian’s history, dating back to its founding in 1931.
Among highlights of his tenure in Cambria are special sections about land conservation, water supply issues, fire-fighting infrastructure and flood control plans, he recalled.
“I look forward to new challenges and spending time with family in Ashland, but will miss Cambria, its people and its wonderful natural setting.”
Etling, 56, edited the Santa Ynez Valley News in Solvang before joining The Cambrian in September 2000. The Ashland Daily Tidings is a six-day-a-week newspaper serving the town that’s home to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Southern Oregon University. It has a population of about 20,000 people.
Under Etling’s leadership, The Cambrian has won many accolades. Just two months ago, for instance, it received the California Newspaper Publishers Association’s top award — General Excellence — for its division. It was runner-up three previous years. Besides these honors, Etling has personally won first- or second-place awards three times for editorial comment and four times for page design.
“We will miss Bert greatly. He has long embraced the spirit of a community journalist – from reflecting North Coast life through stories and freelancer columns, to tackling important issues that enlighten readers, to holding ‘Front Porch Fridays’ to encourage reader feedback and ideas,’’ said Tribune Executive Editor Sandra Duerr. The Cambrian is The Tribune’s sister paper.
Tribune Publisher and President Bruce G. Ray said that “although a journalist and editor of Bert’s skill will be difficult to replace, we will endeavor to do just that in the coming weeks.”
The Cambrian is an important publication — one that the local community relies on for its news and information each week, Ray said. “We are committed to continuing that mission,’’ he said.
A search for Etling’s replacement is underway. In the meantime, longtime staff writer and columnist Kathe Tanner will work with Duerr and other editors to “ensure we continue to give the Cambria community the quality newspaper it deserves,’’ Ray said.
Follow Bert Etling on Twitter at @betling.