July 31st, 2008 5:33 pm | by HANK STERN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP

Dwight Jaynes Out As Editor of Tribune (Updated With Comment From Jaynes and Trib President Steve Clark)

Tags: media

Portland Tribune Editor Dwight Jaynes, who has been with the paper since its beginning, is out.

News of Jaynes' departure came today as a shock, given that he had a column in today's Trib and was on the print paper's masthead today (his name has already been scrubbed from the paper's on-line contact list)

A friend of Jaynes says a clue to Jaynes' abrupt decision to leave may be in that final column, which is about the death Tuesday of The O's Brian Meehan, a contemporary whose death Jaynes describes as something that "kind of smacks you right in the middle of the chest."

Jaynes, who had been a longtime sportswriter and columnist at The O as well as the long-gone Oregon Journal before that, has been with the Trib since it started in 2001. In recent months, the paper has also gone through a good deal of stress that has certainly not made Jaynes' job any easier.

No word on who might replace Jaynes or when.

Tribune president Steve Clark says there are "plans in the works" to announce who might be assigned to pick up the responsibilities of Jaynes' job. Asked whether it was fair to term the news of Jaynes' departure as sudden, Clark said yes. But he added that he and Jaynes had agreed that Jaynes would be the only spokesperson as to any elaboration about the decision.

UPDATEJaynes, 60, said this evening that Meehan's death coupled with the recent deaths of two other contemporaries "hit me hard" and led to his decision Thursday to end his time at Robert Pamplin's Trib. He said he faced no pressure to step down from what was — and is — a demanding job.

"I don't want people to blame Steve Clark or Pamplin," Jaynes said . "This was on me ... I didn't really decide to do it until I did it Thursday. It was just my time to go."

He adds that he wasn't sure what he will do in the long-term. In the short-term, he spoke Thursday night with WWire while headed to play (that's right, play) in a baseball game.

"Dwight was one of the founding managers of this newspaper and he provided both editorial direction and a very well-read sports column," Clark said. "He served as a strong link to this community."
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