Longtime editor Hering to leave D-H

2012-09-08T06:30:00Z 2012-09-15T02:51:29Z Longtime editor Hering to leave D-HDemocrat-Herald Albany Democrat Herald
September 08, 2012 6:30 am  • 

Hasso Hering, the longtime editor of the Democrat-Herald, is leaving the newspaper next week as part of an initiative to cut costs.

Hering, who has served as the editor of the D-H since November 1978, will work his last day at the paper on Friday, Sept. 14.

Mike McInally, the general manager of Mid-Valley Media and the editor of the D-H’s sister publication, the Corvallis Gazette-Times, will assume editing duties at the D-H as well, said Rick Parrish, the regional publisher for Lee Enterprises’ Northwest properties, which include the Democrat-Herald.

“We regret having to make decisions like these,” Parrish said, “especially when they involve top-quality people like Hasso. But at the same time, we have to make the hard decisions to resize our operations to reflect the realities of a struggling economy.”

Hering, 68, started work at the Democrat-Herald in 1977 as the editor of the paper’s editorial page and was named editor a year later. He quickly made his mark with the paper’s lively and often contrarian editorial page, a frequent prize-winner in journalism contests.

He also helped to spearhead the paper’s conversion to morning publication in 2010.

His community service included a stint on a commission to study the Oregon Legislature, an effort that helped pave the way for annual legislative sessions.

More recently, Hering helped shepherd the Democrat-Herald into the multimedia era. His daily “D-H Today” videos, filmed with a Flip camera that he holds himself, have been popular additions to the paper’s website and have attracted viewers worldwide.

Before working at the Democrat-Herald, Hering spent 10 years at the Ashland Daily Tidings, the last nine of those as editor.

“We can’t replace Hasso, and it would be silly to try,” McInally said. “But we will stay focused on our mission, and that is to offer the best news coverage of Albany and Linn County in our pages, on our website and through our mobile offerings.”

McInally added that there are no plans to combine the Democrat-Herald and the Gazette-Times. “We are committed to continuing to publish distinct newspapers for the mid-valley’s distinct communities,” he said.

Said Hering: “All my time in newspapers, I’ve secretly wondered why the owners paid me when I was having so much fun. I guess they finally wondered about that too.

“Albany and the mid-valley have been a great place to report and comment on the news all these years,” he added. “It’s been great fun to work with the talented people at our paper. I’m grateful to them for having made my job easy, and I know they’ll carry on doing the good work they do.”

Copyright 2015 Albany Democrat Herald. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(33) Comments

  1. Marilyn
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    Marilyn - September 14, 2012 11:34 am
    This is grievous news. I can only echo what many have said already, Hasso is a class act, everything a real journalist should be. There aren't many left in the world.

    I think this a very poor decision, the G-T might as well join the rest of the big-time papers and simply parrot the UPI-Reuters releases and dump ALL their local staff.
  2. steve druckenmiller
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    steve druckenmiller - September 10, 2012 5:00 pm
    Despite some differences over the many years, Hasso Hering and I have maintained a professional cordiality and unfailing civility as we have gone about our work. I believe him to be a good and sincere man intent on doing right, and he certainly has done a remarkably fine job as editor of the DH, creating for it a statewide importance. I also believe Hasso Hering deserved so much more than he has apparently received from Lee Enterprises… and Linn County deserved better too.

    At a stage in his career, when it would be expected for this man to receive accolades for his accomplishments and respect from his employer, he is instead let go in a financial austerity move. Really?

    If this is true, it begs the question “why Herring as opposed to others - for instance – the Corvallis editor who will now be editor of both the Corvallis and Albany newspapers?” Since the article did not say that Hering was offered and turned down that job, what could be the reason for choosing to ignore him for this position?

    Is it because:
    a. Hering, with all his knowledge and ability, could not do that job? Or could it possibly be:
    b. Because Hering is sixty-eight years old? Or is it:
    c. Despite disingenuous denials to the contrary, the plan is to soon merge the Corvallis and Albany newspapers with Linn County simply being regarded as an afterthought to Benton County --- something that Hering would have had too much integrity to allow?

    Answer: We all know that it is not “a” and, regardless of whether it is one or both of the remaining reasons, it appears an injustice has been committed by Lee Enterprises, the very entity that calls for our patronage and our trust… how disappointing… our County is the poorer for losing Hasso Hering’s talents --- and so is Lee Enterprises.

    The difference is we are wise enough to know it...

    Thank you Hasso.

  3. Ian
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    Ian - September 10, 2012 4:47 pm
    Not to pour more fuel on a small fire here, but Snert: the D-H has carried the G-T for years. I worked at the D-H for two years, and the number of times the G-T came out WITHOUT a D-H byline, I could count on one hand. The G-T folks routinely relied on D-H copy to fill their paper, even when it had no local bearing on Benton County. All of you at the G-T could've learned a little about hard work from HH.

    I was a reporter for 10 years, the last two at the D-H before changing careers. I learned more from Hasso in those two years than in the first eight. This is sad news for the mid-valley. Hasso: Thanks for all your years of reporting, opining and teaching.
  4. 2kidsmom
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    2kidsmom - September 10, 2012 2:30 pm
    Sad news. I actually heard about it from my daughter who heard it on-line the day before it was in the paper. Didn't want to believe it until I saw it in print. Thought maybe it was a joke. Mr. Herring, I for one will miss your editorials and daily on-line comments. Best wishes on your next ventures.
  5. henpecked
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    henpecked - September 10, 2012 1:56 pm
    You're entitled to your opinions, but they seem excessively mean-spirited. Is all that vitriol really necessary on this thread? Hasso obviously means a great deal to many people in the newspaper, the community and beyond. Many people had their differences with Hasso, but they still respected him for his legacy as a journalist and what he's done for Albany. Why throw mud on this outpouring of support?
    Mike Henneke, former Sunday editor
  6. orca
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    orca - September 10, 2012 9:16 am
    I just sent my comments to Rick Parrish, publisher of the DH, voicing my anger about the decision. Please send yours:

    Rick Parrish
  7. scorpion
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    scorpion - September 10, 2012 8:05 am
    What an article to open up to this morning....I am just in disbelief.
    Love him or hate him....Hasso is always a class act. He has been with DH ever since I could pick up a paper and start to read and comprehend what was written. Kudos to you sir! Whether I agreed with you or not.....you did your job with the utmost of intrgrety. As they say..."all good things must come to an end". Fairwell HH....thank you for all the news and innovation you have been brought to the DH.....I will miss your videos!
  8. Ray Kopczynski
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    Ray Kopczynski - September 10, 2012 7:16 am
    I leave for three day, come back, grab the multiple newspapers to read last night, and WHAM! I see this headline! I'm just shaking my head in disbelief! Amazing...

    Hasso -- You *WILL* be missed. The job of putting out an editorial day-after-day-after day...and keep it topical is NOT for the faint of heart! KUDOS to your stamina in the face of inevitable diatribes to some of them. Getting those tells me you are, in fact, doing a good job of it!
  9. Geoff Taylor
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    Geoff Taylor - September 10, 2012 6:27 am
    This is a thoughtful handful of roses in tribute for a job well done, and everyone who has posted here makes me proud to live in this spot. The comments of colleagues illuminate the man-as-mentor; as a reader, I always saw him as a reasonable voice of the right. Some of my best friends are conservatives, and I treasure the hours we spend arguing. But we're in agreement on HH and his contribution to Oregon journalism.

    If the local business community put on its collective thinking cap, they'd realize that HH is an invaluable asset, too young to retire and too experienced to waste. He could write sponsored viewpoints on the economy, our most pressing problem, and offer some ways to keep Oregon chugging along. One function of a newspaper is to stimulate local small businesses, many of which would rather not be taxed out of existence or waste hours filling out forms. Mr. Hering could voice their plight, tell their stories, and let the reading public in on the secret of Spending Locally. Amazon sells books, but they're not a neighborly bookstore on main street or around the corner, staffed by familiar faces. And where would we be without real bookstores?

    But if his path leads elsewhere, I'll miss all the times I talked back to his editorials: "Whoa, just a doggone minute, Hasso. I can see why you say that, but it turns out not to be the case, sir. For instance, consider etc etc." Journalists like HH do not grow on trees, but are cultivated right here. Rare they are everywhere else, but we got 'em. Let's keep Mr. Hering at the keyboard, somehow.
  10. EddieSJ
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    EddieSJ - September 09, 2012 1:23 pm
    Is it true that the lawyer who helped broker the bankruptcy filings was paid more than half a million dollars for her work? If so, can Lee Enterprises explain why it pays attorneys half a million dollars but needs to cut costs at its newspapers?
  11. Pat Kight
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    Pat Kight - September 09, 2012 12:09 pm
    While this old liberal has rarely seen eye-to-eye with Hasso's editorial positions (at least on matters political), I've respected him since my own newspaper days as a kind, generous and frank human being who did what a good editorial writer is supposed to do: Take a position, state it clearly and let the chips fall where they may. Like what he wrote or hate it, you always knew where he stood.

    His departure is a loss to the community, and a commentary on the sadly declining state of the newspaper business in the US. I suspect these strong, distinctive local voices won't be with us much longer. As much as I love the Internet, that's a real loss.
  12. Mr Independent
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    Mr Independent - September 09, 2012 10:12 am
    Is that Snert or Fert, "Excuse me" Well Hasso with a record like 21 to 1 its obvious how your record stands over the years and the respect you have earned from the community at large and I for one will miss reading your opinions and your contribution to the community. Keep on biking on.
  13. Ineka
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    Ineka - September 09, 2012 8:43 am
    Your colleagues already miss you terribly. That is a high honor.
  14. Snert
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    Snert - September 08, 2012 11:38 pm
    Are you people for real? I don't blame Lee Enterprises for this... the DH has been performing terribly for ages. Hering's editorials are weird at best, but mostly unreadable. His leadership has kept the DH a laughingstock in the face of quality competition. I left the Gazette Times when we combined with the DH because I felt we compromised too much to keep Hering happy. Glad to see the powers that be finally came to their senses.
  15. Patrick Lair
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    Patrick Lair - September 08, 2012 10:20 pm
    Best of luck to you, Hasso. I'm sorry Lee is the way Lee is.

    I only worked for the DH for a few years, but I have always valued my time there in no small part because of Hasso's mentorship. One thing I'll never forget: anything short of a nuclear war can be told in 10 column inches or less.
  16. Ajax
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    Ajax - September 08, 2012 7:54 pm
    The conservative system of government that Hasso has always defended, just did him in... Get rid of him before he retires in order to save money... Forget the human aspect and the loyalty he has shown..

    I know I have given HH a hard time over the years as many have, but he has never been shy with his opinions, which is respectable... Good luck Mr. Hering in whatever comes next.
  17. rousejen
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    rousejen - September 08, 2012 7:53 pm
    I was shocked when I saw the headline this morning, and I continue to be astounded by this decision tonight. To let go someone with Hasso's skills, years of experience, community knowledge, and die-hard journalists' ethics, all in the name of saving a buck? Quality institutions don't treat employees this way. Bad call, Lee Enterprises. Speaking as a former D-H employee, I can say that Hasso was a wonderful editor for a rookie reporter to work for, and he continues to be a thoughtful and thought-provoking writer. He should have been allowed to retire when he chose and on his own terms.
  18. Anita6c34e
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    Anita6c34e - September 08, 2012 5:56 pm
    This is a huge loss for Linn County. This may be one of those penny wise and pound foolish actions. Hasso has done a wonderful job, sometimes funny, sometimes thoughtfull, sometimes controversial ALWAYS interesting. We already seem to get a lot of Benton Co coverage, and I surely hope the new editor will remember that Linn County is a very different audience! Thank you Hasso, hope you have more time for leisurely bike rides now.
  19. Jo Rae Perkins
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    Jo Rae Perkins - September 08, 2012 3:07 pm
    Thank you very much for your years of service and your insight. I have appreciated working with you on a professional level. It was great knowing I could send you an email or call you with comments, questions and concerns to which you always responded promptly.
    Your professional demeanor has been impeccable, especially during emotionally charged situations.
    I am confident we have not heard the last from you.
    Our best wishes to you and Kathy - as you venture into the next phase of your lives.
    Jo Rae and George Perkins
  20. henpecked
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    henpecked - September 08, 2012 12:35 pm
    Email for Rick Parrish
  21. FocusOnFacts
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    FocusOnFacts - September 08, 2012 12:34 pm
    Congratulations on a distinguished career. I wish you best of luck in your future. And I'll keep an eye out for your bike whizzing by.
  22. LoDeeDo
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    LoDeeDo - September 08, 2012 12:10 pm
    Mr. Parrish, you do not know what you have done!

    HH is an icon, and clearly the most knowledgeable journalist in the state of Oregon.

    His commitment to professionalism and to journalistic excellence is what I have judged all other newspapers by.

    I know you have financial considerations to make, but I humbly submit with all respect that this decision to oust Hasso is a mistake.

    The democrat herald will never be the same.
  23. Grace Peterson
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    Grace Peterson - September 08, 2012 10:52 am
    I am shocked. I can't imagine the DH without you, Mr. Herring. It is a sad day for all of us who have enjoyed and benefited from your hard work. I hope your future is as joyous and fulfilling as your time at the DH has been. Perhaps now you can tackle a memoir?
  24. Christy
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    Christy - September 08, 2012 10:35 am
    This is unbelievable. I can't believe the D-H is being so blatantly discriminatory, and firing someone who is that close to retirement. I haven't lived in Albany for 15 years, and I still read this paper because of the balance and commitment to showing both sides of all stories, as well as being nonpartisan. This is shameful, discriminatory, unfair, and quite frankly, shockingly stupid.
  25. GeeWiz
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    GeeWiz - September 08, 2012 9:45 am
    Hasso is not retiring. It sounds like he was "let go". This sounds a lot like a clear case of age discrimination. He is 68 years old. How many young people with less seniority are also leaving?
  26. OregonBorn
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    OregonBorn - September 08, 2012 9:37 am
    Stunned...I can't believe corporate leadership could be so myopic. Clearly the decision comes from people who have no roots to our community. Hasso is, was and will forever be a midvalley institution. I frequently don't agree with him, but he does what an editor should. He provokes people to think and express their thoughts. As a professional, he has put his heart, soul and the greater part of his career into the intellectual capital of this community. Anger, dismay, disbelief...I'd cancel my subscription immediately, but want these intellectual geniuses to know what a huge blow they've dealt to our collective consciousness, not to mention the collective conscience of our community.
  27. GrahamKislingbury Staff
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    GrahamKislingbury - September 08, 2012 9:32 am
    Thank you, Hasso, for all the great work you did at the paper and in the community, and for being such a wonderful mentor to all of us at the DH. -- Graham
  28. HBS
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    HBS - September 08, 2012 9:24 am
    I moved away fro Albany over 3 years ago and yet continued to look at the DH online on a fairly regular basis. I wondered how long I would continue. Now I know. Hasso Hering was the primary reason that I--and I suspect a lot of other folks--read the DH. I disagreed with his editorials frequently, but usually found them thought-provoking. What a loss to Albany and the mid-valley.
  29. Amy Lynn
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    Amy Lynn - September 08, 2012 9:11 am
    Hasso Hering hired me almost straight out of college. He probably shouldn't have taken a chance on me, but he did and I will be forever grateful. I learned more in my three and a half years at the DH than I did in all of school or in the eight years since I left.

    I grew up in Albany and while I didn't always agree with Hasso, it was impossible to not respect him. He has been the voice of that community longer than I have been alive and, I know, will be sorely missed.
  30. Conservative Chick
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    Conservative Chick - September 08, 2012 9:09 am
    The DH loses a major asset. A Willamette Valley icon. Good move execs - save some dough, get a bonus. You may lose touch with the rest of your local readers, but I'd say why not ax the rest of the writers?
    We don't need any local talent. Imagine the financial benefits of centralizing the entire operation - having out-of-staters write the WHOLE paper!
    (I hope my dripping sarcasm is coming across okay)
    I'm sure there are sound financial reasons for the move, and I will continue to support what's left of our local papers, but enough can't be said about what we've all lost here.
    Sad day.
  31. Niki Price
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    Niki Price - September 08, 2012 8:54 am
    I first "met" Hasso while watching him on TV, on the OPB version of Meet the Press, back in the 1990s. I admit to being a bit starstruck when we met in person, actually. I got over it, at least enough to work at the MidValley Sunday copy desk for a while -- some of the best times of my journalistic life. But I have never lost my opinion that HH is an Oregon celebrity of the best kind -- with a reputation built on intelligence, research and hard work. I know you will land someplace interesting, Mr. Hering. Best wishes.
  32. Dani Crabtree
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    Dani Crabtree - September 08, 2012 8:45 am
    No matter how you spin this story, it isn't positive. Thank you, Hasso, for all your hard work through the years and everything you taught me. I am disappointed in corporate's decision.
  33. henpecked
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    henpecked - September 08, 2012 8:17 am
    Thanks for handling this with class, Hasso.
    I know I wouldn't have responded the same way. Yet another thing you taught me during 14 years of working together.
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