Mark Matassa Leaving Crosscut to Become Mike McGinn's Communications Director

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Chuck Taylor
If Matassa rocks this look at City Hall, it'll be a veritable Bear Club for Men.
Former Seattle Times, P-I (he was also involved with Publicola for a nanosecond), and current Crosscut editor Mark Matassa is leaving the nonprofit news website to take a job as Communications Director with incoming Mayor Mike McGinn's administration.

"Thank you to those who were able to attend our Crosscut members holiday party last night," Matassa writes in an email to Crosscut contributors and staff. "It was a terrific event, full of warmth and seasonal good cheer, along with palpable support for Crosscut and, I believe, another boost in our membership rolls and donations. It underscored for me what a wonderful place this is to work as well as the value our smart, forward-looking journalism has in this city. And so, with all of that still fresh, it's an especially difficult time for me to announce that I'll be leaving our publication soon to go to work in Mayor-elect Mike McGinn's office."

"Believe me, this is a very difficult decision," Matassa continues. "Aside from the feelings of guilt and unfulfilled commitment in leaving a job after such a short time, Crosscut from the beginning has been more to me than just a job. It's the most fun I've had in 30 years of journalism, and I care deeply about making this news model and business model work. I'll miss being a part of that exciting journey.

Most of all, of course, I'll miss the chance to continue working with all of you, who are truly an extraordinary group. I owe David a huge debt of gratitude for hiring me -- I wasn't sure I'd ever be lucky enough to work in a newsroom again -- and for trusting me to help edit the site from day to day. Jill Mogen, Mike Crystal and Marilyn Hoe all are terrific office mates and give this little operation a feeling of fun and can-do optimism that, frankly, contribute at least as much as our membership pitches to keeping us afloat. And all of you writers are an editor's dream; I've never seen a group who care so much, who work so hard for so little reward, and who seem honestly to appreciate feedback about their work.

Yet here I am, asked by the mayor to join his team and feeling, ultimately, that it's an offer I can't let pass. I've lived in Seattle for most of the past 22 years. I love it here and care about its future. After a career covering the news of how we govern ourselves, I'm excited by the challenge of being on the other end of the reporter's notebook, of helping Mayor McGinn as he sets out to bring change to Seattle. That's important, I think, and on a personal level it also promises to be fun and stimulating.

I have loved working with all of you and have made several friendships that I expect will be lasting. Thank you all for making me feel so welcome here and for making this job such a joy.

I'm not sure yet of the timing of my move. I expect to start the new job as the mayor's communications director sometime around the first of the year, probably Jan. 4. And I'll be on a previously planned Christmas vacation for parts of the next two weeks, from Wednesday the 23rd through Tuesday the 29th. So time is running short. But let's please find a time to share a couple of beers before I go."

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