Bringing his longtime passion for community journalism and digital savvy, Eric LaFontaine was recently named the new regional publisher of Sound Publishing’s Eastside news group, which includes the Bellevue Reporter.
The group also consists of the Bothell/Kenmore, Issaquah/Sammamish, Kirkland, Mercer Island and Redmond Reporter newspapers, as well as the Snoqualmie Valley Record.
LaFontaine was most recently the publisher of the daily Columbia Basin Herald — the largest newspaper in Grant County — as well as the Hagadone Media-owned weekly newspapers in the Moses Lake area.
“To say that I am excited would be an understatement,” LaFontaine said. “Now is the perfect time to continue engaging with readers in print, while pushing a digital strategy forward.”
LaFontaine succeeds William Shaw, who will continue to serve as general manager of the Issaquah/Sammamish and Snoqualmie Valley publications. Shaw has lived in Issaquah for 30 years and is a prior publisher of the Snoqualmie Valley Record, so his new role will allow him to focus closer to home for those two markets.
“I look forward to continuing my renewed focus on business development and community building in Issaquah and Sammamish and the communities of the Snoqualmie Valley,” Shaw said.
A Richland, Washington native, LaFontaine received a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Washington, and an MBA from Regis University. He also served as a journalist in the Naval Reserve.
LaFontaine and his wife, Ali, have three children in college with a fourth as a junior in high school. The avid marathon runner and his family live in Beaux Arts.