Idaho Statesman gets a new publisher

The Idaho Statesman soon will have a new publisher: Rusty Dodge, who comes to Boise from Bellingham, Washington.

Since 2017, Dodge has been general manager of The Bellingham Herald, a sister paper of the Idaho Statesman in the McClatchy media company.

He succeeds Rebecca Poynter, who has been the Statesman’s publisher since April 2018 and more recently has been a regional publisher responsible for McClatchy’s news outlets in Boise and four Washington state markets — Tacoma, Olympia, Bellingham and Tri-Cities. Poynter will remain publisher in Tacoma and Olympia. McClatchy has 30 news organizations across the country, including four in Washington and one in Idaho.

Dodge, 41, earned a degree in business in 2001 from Western Washington University in Bellingham, where he met his wife, Lindsey, when they ran on the cross-country team. He joined the Herald in 2003 as an advertising sales assistant and rose through the ranks to the general manager job.

He is also responsible for strategic sales for the Northwest, a role he will retain in Boise.

“I welcome the opportunity to support a talented team at the Idaho Statesman in offering valued journalism to our readers, and successful marketing strategies to our advertising partners,” he said in an email. “My wife and I are excited to join the Treasure Valley’s vibrant and thriving community.”

Gary Wortel, who leads McClatchy’s West region operations, said he is “thrilled that Rusty Dodge is becoming The Statesman’s new publisher.”

“Rusty has been a tremendous advertising leader in Bellingham and will no doubt find Idaho’s state capital a great place to lead our media company,” Wortel said in an email. “Rebecca Poynter has done a great job leading the Idaho Statesman, and I know she will continue to do a great job leading the news organizations in Tacoma and Olympia.”

Dodge said he and his wife spent most of their free time running, cycling, stand-up paddling and cross-county skiing.

“My wife and I are passionate about food and farming, and we often spend our weekends searching farms, markets and restaurants for a great meal,” he said.

He starts on Monday, Nov. 11.

Related stories from Idaho Statesman

David Staats is business editor of the Idaho Statesman, which he joined in 2004. He has assigned, edited and reported business, politics, government and other Idaho stories since 2006.Get the top Idaho business stories of the week in a free email every Monday morning. Go here, then press the “Select” button under Idaho Business.