Mayor Ted Wheeler has appointed longtime TV journalist Eileen Park as his newest communications director.
In a press release sent this morning, Wheeler said Park's media background will help shape the city's messaging during "a time of rapid change in Portland... when slogans outpace the facts."
Park joined KOIN as a weekend news anchor in 2015 after years working as a TV reporter in North Carolina, Wisconsin, Washington, and New York. Her last day at KOIN was Friday, October 19. She will replace Michael Cox—who is now Wheeler's chief of staff—as the mayor's communications director.
Wheeler's office announced a new communications strategy over the summer—one that promised monthly press conferences and a new press room at city hall—after growing media requests for better access and transparency on the third floor. Park's hire appears to be the latest step toward creating a more journalist-friendly office.
“News and information now move at the speed of light, and government has to catch up,” Park said in the press release. “As Communications Director, you will be hearing about the issues that affect Portlanders daily lives and see the incredible work they continue to do daily, packaged in a way you haven’t seen coming out of a political office before.”
Shortly after this morning's announcement, Park posted this promise on Twitter: