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Janet Taylor named publisher of Mercer Island and Bellevue Reporter papers

As the newly appointed publisher of the Bellevue Reporter and Mercer Island Reporter newspapers, Janet Taylor has her work cut out for her. The former publisher of the Montana Standard daily newspaper relocated to the Bellevue area this past week, ready to take on her new role with East Sound Newspaper Operations, Sound Publishing, Inc.

Taylor officially assumed her publishing responsibilities on Monday, April 27. By Wednesday, April 29, she had already acquainted herself with the staff, explored the booming downtown area, dined at several new Bellevue restaurants, and attended the 20th Annual Bellevue Chamber of Commerce Eastside Business Awards luncheon. She has already been over and around Mercer Island.

“My goal as the new publisher is to get out into the community and find out what we’re doing well and what we can do better to serve our readers and advertisers,” Taylor explained. “Our role is to help our community be informed, to grow and to remain healthy.”

With more than 20 years devoted to the newspaper industry in one facet or another, Taylor remains confident in the future of print journalism.

“I think the business model needs to be looked at, but to be honest, people still want news. They turn to us to stay informed and connected to their community,” she said, adding that, “news is not going anywhere. Our job is to produce fair journalism that is both relevant and accurate, whether in print, online or both.”

Taylor began her career in newspapers in 1988 as a private party sales representative with Lee Enterprises at the Missoulian in Missoula, Mont. She advanced to classified, outside sales and then to major account sales before being promoted to the manager of classified advertising in 1990.

Taylor became the director of advertising in 2003, and in 2006, she was promoted to publisher of the Montana Standard in Butte.

“I wanted a change and I have always loved the Northwest,” said Taylor, when asked why she made her current move. “I began looking into media companies in the Northwest, and Sound Publishing stood out to me. I was drawn to the paper’s local focus on community news — the whole idea of what’s going on in your own backyard.”

Relocating from a small town to a thriving suburb is just the type of challenge she has been looking for, she said.

“The first thing I did was get a GPS,” she joked. “In the few days I’ve been here, I have noticed that Bellevue takes a lot of pride in this area, and the people are so nice. I am excited to work with local businesses where the owner works the cash register and the nonprofits give back to the community.”

Taylor was awarded the Lee President’s Award for Innovation in 2000 and again in 2004. She attended the University of Montana, where she studied concert piano and drama. She and her husband of 34 years, Hank, have two children and two grandchildren.

Taylor can be reached at jtaylor@bellevuereporter.com or (425) 453-2710.

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