Leslie Brown, editor of The Beachcomber since November 2006, will step down at the end of the month to take a position as a communications specialist at King County.
Brown will work for the county’s Office of Public Defense, helmed by David Chapman, also an islander.
“It was a very hard decision to leave the paper,” she said. “I’ve given my all to this place. I care deeply about its mission. And I’ve grown very attached to everyone who works here.”
But the long hours and unrelenting pace of the high-profile position have been hard to maintain, she said. And the opportunity to try her hand as a spokesperson for a public agency doing important work in the region proved too good to pass up, she added.
“Working for the county — and for someone as committed to legal justice as Dave Chapman — feels like the right move at this point in my life,” she said.
Brown, a seasoned journalist, joined The Beachcomber’s staff shortly after moving to the island. Under her leadership, the paper has won numerous awards, including the top statewide award for overall content from the Washington Newspaper Publisher’s Association.
Daralyn Anderson, the newspaper’s publisher, said she was very sad to see Brown leave but said she understood the reason for her decision.
“It’s a demanding position. And she’s done an excellent job. Her shoes will be tough to fill,” she said.