The fifth woman to exit the Seattle Times newsroom in the last several months, Emily Heffter, who has covered politics and city hall, says she's leaving next week for a job at real-estate tracking firm Zillow. What's she going to do there? "I don't know, wear skinny jeans to work," jokes Heffter. As if it needs to be said: Heffter always lacked the stuffiness of the Fairview Fanny culture. She also stood out for her sharp copy and was known for being uniquely impervious to politicians who attempted to spin her stories. In her new gig, she'll be writing copy that Zillow distributes to new outlets, presumably for better money—and, while she didn't say it, a more prosperous enterprise.
Let's be clear: This sucks for Seattle.
She started in the Seattle Times suburban bureau a decade ago at the age of 24. But troubles seem to have begun when Heffter was removed from the full-time City Hall beat when she left on maternity leave a couple years ago, being replaced, unfortunately, by a veritable city council stenographer named Lynn Thompson.
Heffter leaves the newsroom on the heels of business reporter Melissa Allison; food writer Nancy Leson; general-assignment reporter Maureen O'Hagan; and reporter Joni Balter. Editorial board member Lynne Varner also left recently. A few men have filed into the news room lately, including the undeniably-awesome Lewis Kamb.
UPDATE: I updated the post to include Balter and Varner, two more female writers out the door. It's practically an XX exodus. Zing!
UPDATE: This post originally said Zillow "sells" its content to news sites, but I've corrected that to say "distributes." Zillow spokeswoman Camile Salama says he company's "content is pitched to media sites we have relationships with... This all completely free and is a way for these outlets to get more rich real estate content and for us to get our brand out there."