Patrick Malee, assistant editor of the West Linn Tidings and Wilsonville Spokesman, has been named the new editor of the Lake Oswego Review.
Malee will replace Editor Gary M. Stein, who announced last week that he has accepted an offer from the Oregon State Bar to be the editor of its monthly magazine, The Bulletin. Stein's last day at The Review will be March 1; Malee will begin his new role on March 4.
"Gary has done a tremendous job leading our news team," said publisher J. Brian Monihan. "I hate to see him leave. His understanding of the role a local newspaper plays in informing and engaging our community is rare. His strong local connections and willingness to cover everything from state football championships to political protests makes him the consummate hometown editor."
But Malee brings similar qualities to the job, Monihan said, and deserves the chance to lead a newsroom.
"Patrick has done a great job for us and I'm really proud of him being able to take on this new role," said Monihan. "He is a hard worker, dedicated and very fair. I know he will do a great job in helping us to continue to be Lake Oswego's best source for local news."
Stein joined The Review in May 2014 after a 36-year career in print journalism that led him to positions of creativity and increasing responsibility at major metropolitan newspapers in California, Texas and Oregon — including 26 years at The Oregonian in Portland, where he eventually became managing editor of custom publications.
"I started my first job at a newspaper in March 1978. Over the 41 years that have followed, I've worked as a writer, editor and designer at dailies and weeklies in three states. But none of those jobs have compared to my time as editor of the Lake Oswego Review," Stein said this week. "Not only have I had the opportunity to make a good paper better, but I've also gotten to deeply engage myself in a community that I have come to love, and to nurture relationships with people I admire and respect. It has been the best five years of my career. But the time has come for new challenges."
During his tenure, Stein was instrumental in making The Review one of the most honored newspapers in the state by the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association. He was also the recipient of numerous individual awards for writing and editing.
In addition to creating a strong news product in print, Stein excelled at building a large and growing digital presence. The Review now has close to 9,000 visitors a day at its website, and the newspaper's Facebook page has grown from 275 followers when Stein arrived to more than 4,500 today.
Still, he says his greatest accomplishment has been weaving The Review into the fabric of Lake Oswego by deeply engaging in a city that has become the focus of both his personal and professional lives.
"What I hope people realize is what a special place Lake Oswego truly is," Stein said, "filled with passionate, dedicated, engaged residents. I will always treasure the relationships I nurtured here, and will miss this place and these people immensely. But while this chapter of my life is coming to an end, I take some comfort in knowing that the friendships will not. Our paths, I know, will cross again."
Malee has served as assistant editor of the West Linn Tidings and Wilsonville Spokesman since 2016. In addition to helping edit and design both newspapers, he has been the beat reporter covering West Linn for the past 6 years.
During his tenure, the Tidings has garnered numerous awards from the Society for Professional Journalists and the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association, including first place for General Excellence in 2017. Malee has also been instrumental in helping with the launch of the Charbonneau Villager, a monthly newspaper in Wilsonville that is produced by the Pamplin Media Group.
"Having watched Gary, and before him Martin Forbes, grow this newspaper into one of the best in the region, I'm well aware that I have very large shoes to fill," Malee said. "I'm thrilled to be stepping into this role and can't wait to hit the ground running. Lake Oswego is a special place, and I couldn't be more excited to learn about the community and help share the unique stories that come out of this city every single day."
A graduate of the University of Oregon and originally from Chicago, Malee has also won numerous individual awards over the course of his career for his writing, photography and headline-writing skills. "In the Tidings and Spokesman, I couldn't have asked for better places to help me grow as a reporter, writer, editor and photographer," he said. "The small but formidable team for those two newspapers is special, and I will truly miss working with them."
Malee's move to The Review was also bittersweet for West Linn Tidings Editor Leslie Pugmire Hole.
"This change for the Tidings produces conflicting feelings for me," Hole said. "I count myself as very lucky to have had such a capable and creative assistant to help with the task of producing newspapers for three communities every month, and it will be a great loss when Patrick leaves. But it has been very exciting to see him grow professionally through the years, and my loss will be Lake Oswego's gain. Patrick is an excellent writer, has a strong moral compass and a great sense of humor."
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