Statesman-Examiner welcomes new publisher, Roger Harnack

Roger HarnackRoger Harnack
Aaron Andrews
Staff Reporter

Roger Harnack took over the position of publisher at The Statesman-Examiner on Monday, Sept. 10.
During the last decade, Harnack, 50, has served as publisher and editor of The Omak-Okanogan County Chronicle in Omak and The Daily Sun in Sunnyside.
He has also previously worked as the editor of a multitude of publications, including The Daily Record in Ellensburg; The Peninsula Daily News in Port Angeles; The Herald in Puyallup; The East Oregonian in Pendleton, Ore.; The Sentinel-Standard in Ionia, Mich.; and The Decatur Daily Democrat in Decatur, Ind. In addition, he was bureau chief of Pacific Stars and Stripes, the daily newspaper for U.S. military personnel overseas, in Tokyo, Japan.
"Roger is a highly talented newspaperman and I'm delighted he has chosen to join the Statesman-Examiner as its publisher,” outgoing publisher Jesse Mullen said. “We've had tremendous growth in 2018, and he's the perfect person to maintain our momentum as I leave to run the newspapers I purchased in Montana.”
Raised in Benton City, Harnack has experience in journalism and photography spanning all the way back to seventh-grade, when he took a class on black and white photography and went on to be the editor of his high school yearbook.
When he went to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to get a degree in aerospace engineering, Harnack worked on the Avion, the university's weekly newspaper, and received NASA credentials.
His NASA credentials provided him unique opportunities for writing and photography. He started selling photos and articles to newspapers. As a result, the publisher of The Observer newspaper, a newspaper in New Smyrna Beach, Fla., offered him a position.
From there, Harnack went on to be published worldwide and to win numerous state and national awards — including the Key Award from the Washington Coalition for Open Government and the Golden Quill, an international award for editorial and commentary writing, to name a few. He was also publisher in residence at Washington State University.
And this coming month, he will receive every National Newspaper Association award for photography being presented to publications in Washington state.
For the last three years, he worked as a publisher at The Daily Sun, the newspaper covering the lower Yakima Valley between Prosser and Toppenish.
Harnack hopes to improve the news and advertising content at the Statesman-Examiner, but his decision to take the job was not based on business alone. For Harnack, the move is a quality of life choice.
“Having lived all over the world, this is a great place to be,” Harnack said. “The crime is next to nothing; it’s a safe place to be. And it’s not overdeveloped.
"There are also good hiking and fishing.”
When he’s not in the office, Harnack is an outdoorsman. A certified search and rescue ranger, Harnack enjoys hunting, fishing and racing Jet Skis with his 16-year-old daughter, Olivia.