From Times to Times

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Ray Rivera, managing editor at the Seattle Times, has just sent around this email to the staff, lamenting the loss of ace investigative reporter Mike Baker, who has been lured by the New York Times to be their new Northwest bureau chief.

” We’ve seen a number of incredible colleagues leave recently for dream jobs.  In many ways it’s a tribute to the journalism we do here every day, but it doesn’t make it any easier.  And now we’re facing another painful departure. Mike Baker has accepted a job as the Pacific Northwest’s regional correspondent for The New York Times, a company that has been courting him for years and finally dangled an offer he couldn’t refuse.  Mike, who joined us from the Associated Press in 2014, has become a cornerstone in our long-tradition of world-class investigative reporting, gaining a national reputation in the process as simply one of the best in the field.  His landmark work on double-booked surgeries at Swedish Neuroscience Institute had almost unprecedented impact, earning him and our former data journalist Justin Mayo a coveted Selden Ring award, among many others.  More recently he has displayed his nearly preternatural gift for digging and quickly coming up to speed on mind-boggling subjects in his work with Dominic Gates on our stellar Boeing 737 MAX coverage.  But apart from his astonishing investigative abilities, Mike is a great colleague, always available to anyone who had questions or was seeking tips on how to go deep on a story.  In another sign of his generosity, Mike has agreed to stay on for a few weeks longer. His last day will be June 21.  My personal hope is this won’t be the last time we see him reporting or leading our investigative efforts, but that may be a few years away. “

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