In 2001, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Eric Nalder left the Seattle Times for the San Jose Mercury News. Well known in investigative reporter circles, he did major pieces on Gray Davis and state government. Now Nalder has decided to return to to Seattle with the Post-Intelligencer, where he also used to work. The memos sent to the staffs at both papers follow, beginning with the Mercury:
From: Judson, George
Sent: Monday, July 26, 2004 2:38 PM
Subject: a departure
Eric Nalder is leaving the Mercury News to return to his reporting roots, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. That is very good news for the P-I, in its battle with the Seattle Times, but it is our loss.
Since joining us in February 2001, Eric has brought constant energy and ideas, working on his own projects, collaborating with other reporters, and providing advice and support to many more. He jumped into big running stories, including the power crisis and Gray Davis's fund-raising, and he developed unique enterprise that had immediate impact, such as his investigation, with John Boudreau, of the Irvine Foundation and his recent reporting on real-estate fraud.
In all this, Eric says, he has immensely enjoyed working with everyone here while gaining greatly, as a reporter, from his immersion in that very large piece of the West called California.
Eric will be an investigative reporter at the P-I, which he joins on Aug. 30. His last week with the Mercury News is the week of Aug. 1. As it happens, he's here in San Jose through this Thursday, wrapping up as much as he can of his current project, so be sure to say hello.
And at the P-I:
From: McCumber, David
Sent: Monday, July 26, 2004 3:10 PM
Subject: Eric Nalder
For the few people who didn't hear the whoop from my office a few minutes ago: Eric Nalder is coming home to the P-I.
Eric will start here Aug. 30, joining Ruth, Phuong and Michelle on the investigative team. His byline will read "Investigative Reporter" -- and he is certainly all of that. Eric will bring wisdom, fire, leadership and a hammer-and-tongs work ethic -- and he'll make the paper better in many ways, as a coach and mentor, as a partner for his team members and others in the room, and of course as a kickass reporter.
As many of you know and a few actually remember, Eric worked here from 1976 to 1983, covering local government, business and police. We let him slip away to the Seattle Times then, and the distinguished journalism he did there did much to create and cement that newspaper's investigative reputation.
After the not-so-recent unpleasantness, Eric left the Times and went to work for the San Jose Mercury-News, where he reported with distinction on a number of topics, including CEOs' compensation at non-profits and problems in state government.
Eric has won 20 major national awards and more than 50 regional awards. Eric won a pair of Pulitzers at the Times -- one, in 1990, with William Dietrich, Ross Anderson and Mery Ann Gwinn, for a series on oil-tanker safety, and one in 1997, for a series on corruption in Native American housing programs, with Deborah Nelson and Alex Tizon. He was also a finalist in 1993, for an investigation of U.S. Sen. Brock Adams, with David Boardman, Susan Gilmore and Eric Pryne.
Beyond awards, his work gets results. His stories have resulted in, or contributed to, changes in federal and state law; safety improvements including improvements in oil-tanker operatins and the shutdown of unsafe nuclear-weapons plants; arrests and convictions and the overturning of some wrongful convictions; and shakeups in federal and state governments including the ending of the career of a U.S. senator.
He's also known in the profession as an outstanding teacher. He has done scores of workshops on interviewing and other aspects of investigative reporting, and he will continue to do so while he works for the P-I.
I told Eric that his decision to join us gives an enormous boost to the aspirations for the P-I that we all share. Please join me in welcoming Eric to the staff.
Nelson is now in charge of investigations in the L.A. Times Washington bureau.