Mayor to Mak: Here’s $160K to Pimp My Agenda

KING-5 wonk moves his 401k to City Hall.

Whoever said journalism isn't the way to fame and fortune? KING-5's Robert Mak, political reporter and host of the weekly public-affairs show News Up Front, has landed a plum job as Mayor Greg Nickels' communications director and senior policy advisor. With the move, Mak's not only going to make more money than most journalists could ever dream of, he'll make more than the mayor himself. Nickels brings in $159,000 annually, while Mak will make a cool $160,000—which is also considerably more than his predecessor, Marianne Bichsel, made. According to city records, Bichsel's annual salary was $104,000 before she left last fall to work for Casey Family Programs—which, incidentally, is also where former Seattle Times scribe Marty McOmber landed last month after leaving his post as Nickels' spokesperson. Mak got his start in TV in 1987 at a CBS affiliate in his hometown of Madison, Wis. Though he doesn't start his new gig at City Hall until June 9, Mak already sounds like a pro. "Mayor Nickels has led a successful agenda addressing climate change, improving transportation, and fostering healthy neighborhoods," he says. "With the mayor committed to supporting better schools and creating more economic opportunities for all, this is an exciting time to join the City of Seattle." "Robert brings a keen sense of policy and communications to our team," says Nickels. Add to that an instantly recognizable face, decades of experience in front of a camera, and the invaluable ability to do his own makeup.

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