McGinn's Communications Director Moves On

By Erica C. Barnett April 20, 2011

Mayor Mike McGinn announced a bunch of personnel changes at the city this morning, including the departure of his longtime communications director, former Seattle Times and P-I reporter and editor Mark Matassa, who is taking a job as an assistant to the director of Seattle Public Utilities. Matassa will be replaced by Beth Hester, currently general manager of the Seattle Channel, who will make $120,000 a year----$21,000 more than Matassa's current $99,000 salary.

Gary Gibson, a former station manager at Seattle Channel who now oversees channel operations, will take over Hester's position until a new director is found; Hester says the channel plans to do a national search for her replacement.

In addition to Matassa's departure, McGinn announced the permanent appointment of Bernie Matsuno as head of the city's neighborhoods department (Matsuno has been interim director since January), and the appointment of former Washington State Labor and Industries human resources assistant director David Stewart as head of the city's personnel department. Darwyn Anderson has been the interim director of the city's HR department since 2010, when the previous personnel director, Mark McDermott, resigned.

Matassa did not immediately returned a call seeking more information about the shakeup at the mayor's office.
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