- Associated Press - Thursday, March 6, 2014

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Peter Bhatia is leaving his job as editor of The Oregonian newspaper to take a teaching job at Arizona State University.

Bhatia, 60, announced his decision to the staff Thursday and the newspaper reported his departure on its website.

Bhatia joined Oregon’s largest newspaper in 1993 and was managing editor and executive editor before becoming editor on Jan. 1, 2010. The newspaper won four Pulitzer Prizes during his two decades.

“I will leave with the greatest respect for my colleagues and optimism for what can be accomplished here as the company continues to grow its digital sophistication and audience,” Bhatia said.

Since October, Bhatia has also been the newspaper’s vice president/content of the Oregonian Media Group. It’s a title that reflects the period of change for an industry that has lost circulation and advertising money as readers use their phones for news and entertainment.

The Oregonian cut staff and reduced home delivery to four days a week while shifting its emphasis to digital delivery of news. The newspaper plans to reduce the size of its newspaper next month from a broadsheet to a compact format.

Publisher N. Christian Anderson III said Bhatia did a terrific job leading the paper through the difficult transition and the Oregonian Media Group will do a national search for his replacement.

“We will miss him,” Anderson said. “Still, we recognize that this new opportunity means he will be helping develop the newsrooms of the future. I can’t think of a better person to lend his experience and values to students who want to be part of this exciting profession.”

Bhatia’s new job is at the Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. It’s not a surprising move since he was recently a finalist to become dean of the University of Nebraska’s College of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Bhatia, 60, has been in journalism for nearly 40 years, previously working at newspapers in San Francisco, Dallas, Sacramento, Calif., Spokane, Wash., and York, Pa. He is a former president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors.

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