has taken over management of the
Hillsboro Argus

Bhatia announced the change in Tuesday’s issue of the Argus.

Four Argus employees were laid off during the takeover, a nearly 25 percent cut to the newspaper's staff.

The Oregonian and The Argus are already owned by the same company, Advance Publications, and share the OregonLive website. Bhatia says the takeover is merely “that relationship becoming closer.”

In his letter to readers, Bhatia says the Hillsboro paper will continue to publish twice weekly and will continue to focus on local news and sports. Readers of OregonLive website has been able to see stories from the Argus for awhile now. Bhatia says Hillsboro news will now play a more prominent role on OregonLive.

The Argus' new editor is a longtime Oregonian veteran, Tom Maurer, currently The O's Washington County bureau chief. He will answer to Susan Gage, a managing editor at The Oregonian, who in turn answers to Bhatia. The O will close its Washington County bureau and move its operations to the Argus offices

The move ousts The Argus’ former editor in chief, Gary Stutzman. “He has our thanks and admiration for his great work at the paper and his passion for good journalism,” Bhatia wrote.

Stutzman, who headed the newsroom for 10 years, says Bhatia broke the news to him last week.

“Friday morning, I got the news. I was told it was a cost-cutting measure to get the paper in the black,” Stutzman says.

A reporter, an advertising saleswoman and a computer specialist also lost their jobs, which will be absorbed by The Oregonian.

Stutzman says he has no hard feelings toward The O. “I’ll be fine,” he says. “I’m ready for retirement anyway.”

Bhatia did not respond to the WW's request for comment.

The Argus has a circulation of about 9,500 in a city of about 91,000.