July 11th, 2011 | by JAMES PITKIN News | Posted In: City Hall, Media

Another Portland Reporter Flees Journalism for a Government PR Job (Updated with Neves Comment)

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One of the only TV reporters who consistently covered Portland City Hall has jumped ship to take a job at City Hall.

The Portland Office of Emergency Management today announced hiring Randy Neves, a reporter for KGW News, as the bureau's new public information officer.

“I’m excited that he’s joining our team and bringing his ideas, energy and media experience to the public sector," the bureau's director, Carmen Merlo, is quoted as saying in a news release.

Neves says he's making $78,000 in his new gig, which started today.

Was leaving journalism a hard decision?

"It was tough just because I’ve been doing it my whole adult life. I’m 41 and have been a TV reporter for 17 years. From that perspective, it’s tough to make a life change. But from a professional perspective, it’s been pretty seamless for me," Neves says. "I have no significant qualms about it. It felt right."

Neves' move continues a trend of talented reporters fleeing  journalism for public-relations gigs. His departure comes one month after Pulitzer-winning reporter Julie Sullivan left The Oregonian for a PR job at Multnomah County.

For more on the government public-relations army, check out WW's investigation from May. We found that eight local public agencies are employing more than 90 taxpayer-funded PR personnel with annual salaries that total $7 million.
 
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