Paul Barrett

By Stefanie Loh

Assistant Managing Editor, The Seattle Times 

Two years from now, the Associated Press Sports Editors presidency will return to the Pacific Northwest for the first time in more than three decades.

Paul Barrett, sports editor of The Seattle Times, has won the election for APSE second vice president, defeating three other worthy candidates. He will take office on the last day of the summer conference in Las Vegas this July.

Barrett will move up to first vice president in June 2024, before taking on the presidency in 2025. 

At that point, Barrett will become the first sports editor from a Pacific Northwest media outlet to become APSE president since Jeff Wohler from The Oregonian held the post in the 1991-1992 cycle. 

For perspective, that’s when George H.W. Bush was still president, gas cost about $1.13 per gallon, the Sonics still played in Seattle and Drew Bledsoe was the quarterback of Barrett’s alma mater, Washington State University.

“I’m honored to be elected second vice president, and I want to thank those who voted for me,” Barrett said. “APSE has been a very important part of my career, and I’m excited to serve the membership. 

Barrett gained the most votes in a field of four candidates that included Erik Hall (digital sports editor, St. Louis Post-Dispatch), Emily Horos (deputy sports editor, Arizona Republic) and Justin Pelletier (deputy regional sports editor, McClatchy Southeast). 

Barrett is a Washington state native who was born in Seattle and went to high school in Everett, a city north of Seattle. He graduated from WSU with a journalism degree and got his first sports journalism job at the newspaper in Walla Walla, Wash. He then worked his way up the chain at newspapers of differing sizes all over the country. Barrett’s stops included Yakima, Wash., Las Vegas and Fresno. He also did two stints each at The Miami Herald and The Arizona Republic before he was hired at The Seattle Times as an assistant sports editor in 2015, and was promoted to sports editor when Don Shelton became the company’s executive editor in August 2016. 

That background means Barrett knows what it’s like to cover sports and lead sports departments at news outlets of every size, from your smallest community dailies to major metro markets, and that was part of his platform in his campaign for APSE second vice president.

“I can appreciate the challenges faced by APSE member organizations of different sizes and will work to ensure we are serving the needs of its whole membership,” Barrett said. 

Since Barrett joined The Seattle Times in 2015, he has led the sports department of the second-largest newsroom on the West Coast to three APSE Grand Slams and two triple crowns. He enjoys mentoring young journalists and is committed to trying to help diversify the sports journalism industry.

Barrett lives in Lynnwood, a suburb of Seattle, with his wife, Tara, and their three children.