Former Oregonian publisher dies at 93

Fred Stickel guided the state’s largest newspaper for 34 years.

Share this article!


Fred Stickel, who guided the state’s largest newspaper for 34 years, died Sunday at 93.

He was described as beloved and credited for transforming the Oregonian.

Relationships between news staffs and publishers are often uneasy, because it takes money to produce great journalism. But Stickel was a beloved figure in The Oregonian newsroom – a place he entered only occasionally – because he was generous with those who produced the news. On occasions when he addressed staffers, he was often given standing ovations.

“Fred Stickel was a great publisher during four decades when the community relied on printed newspapers and the business success allowed investment in them,” said Sandy Rowe, whom Stickel hired in 1993.

“Most important for the employees of The Oregonian, Fred was the glue that made us family,” she said. “Fred Stickel treated each one of us with utmost respect and concern. He was a tough Marine with a big heart.”


Stickel once pledged to never lay off workers for economic reasons.

Stickel was adored by staffers at The Oregonian, where he oversaw the paper’s merger with the Oregon Journal in 1982, took an editorial-page stand to protect gay rights in the Oregon Constitution in 1992, and led The O’s transition into the Internet age.

Stickel retired in 2009—and his departure marked the end of an era where The Oregonian protected its employees from mass layoffs. Soon after his retirement, the paper’s New York-based owners, Advance Publications Inc., began their first round of deep newsroom cuts.

(SOURCE: Willamette Week)



Published in Categories News