News Clips— Needle Exchange

WITH JOB CUTS plaguing the newspaper industry, it's nice to read a story about a journalist getting hired.

Of course, the young reporter in question had a name up on the competition, as Allen Dammann reports in Maine's Casco Bay Weekly. Ryan Blethen, the 29-year-old son of Seattle Times publisher Frank Blethen, will join the staff of the Portland Press Herald, a daily newspaper owned by the Seattle Times Co. Although the newsroom was unaffected by the recent elimination of some 60 jobs (about 10 percent of the Herald's total staff), several veteran reporters are being offered early retirement incentive packages, so there's a good chance an empty desk will be available for young Blethen.

Herald staff writer Tom Bell is looking on the bright side: "I hope he is a good reporter," he told the Casco Bay Weekly, "because the paper has lost several good writers, and we need all the help we can get."

James Bush

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