New editor joins Observer

Written by Bill Rautenstrauch, The Observer November 28, 2012 01:41 pm

Andrew Cutler
Andrew Cutler

The Observer has a new editor in Andrew Cutler, an Idaho native with experience at papers in Oregon, Idaho and South Dakota.

Cutler started work for The Observer Monday, after making a move from Rapid City, S.D. Before taking the La Grande position, he worked as a weekend news editor at the Rapid City Journal.

“I’m extremely excited about coming back to the Northwest and, specifically, working at a paper like the La Grande Observer,” Cutler said. “This paper has a great staff of hardworking, talented people who truly love what they do and the product they put out. I’m excited to be part of that.” 

Cutler was born in Pocatello, Idaho, and raised in Fruitland. A 1990 graduate of Fruitland High School, he went on to earn an associates of arts degree from Treasure Valley Community College. He is continuing upper-level studies online at Boise State University.

Cutler joined the U.S. Army in 1991 and served as a combat medic in Germany, Fort Stewart, Ga., and Honduras before his discharge in 1995. His first journalism job was as senior sports writer at the Ontario Argus Observer. Later he became the paper’s sports editor.

Following a stint as beat writer at the Idaho Press-Tribune in Nampa, Idaho, Cutler returned to the Argus Observer in 2004 and worked both as a sports editor and as news editor under La Grande native Pat Caldwell. 

He moved to South Dakota in 2006, working first as the managing editor at the Capital Journal in Pierre, and later as a sports editor and weekend news editor at the Rapid City Journal.

In the latter position, he oversaw editorial production of the Sunday and Monday papers. He also prepared news and feature stories for publication in the Sunday and Monday papers, identifying events and themes worthy of ongoing coverage.

Cutler is the winner of numerous Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association and South Dakota Newspaper Association awards. As managing editor of the Capital Journal, Cutler led the paper to the 2008 SDNA General Excellence award for daily newspapers with circulation under 16,000. It was the first time the Capital Journal had earned the award in 126 years of existence. Cutler also won general excellence awards as a member of staffs at the Argus Observer and the Rapid City Journal. 

“Awards are always gratifying, but they are never about one person,” Cutler said. “I’ve been fortunate to be around very talented people, who share a commitment to putting out the best possible product.”

At The Observer, Cutler will manage a seven-person news staff.

“Andrew’s experience as an award-winning managing editor and his Eastern Oregon roots will be a great asset to The Observer, and to our community.  We are happy to welcome him to La Grande and to our team,” said Kari Borgen, publisher of The Observer and the Baker City Herald.

Cutler’s wife, Larra, and and sons, Brady and Connor, will join him in La Grande soon.

“My family and I are excited to be part of  the La Grande community,” Cutler said.