A Western Montana native with 15 years of experience as a professional journalist has joined the Wallowa County Chieftain as the newspaper’s new editor.

Scot Heisel of Missoula, Mont., recently moved to Enterprise and began work Oct. 21. He replaces former Chieftain Editor Rob Ruth, who left the newspaper in September.

“I’m so happy to live in such a beautiful and friendly part of the Northwest,” Heisel said. “The landscape reminds me a lot of Montana, and everyone I’ve met so far — particularly the Chieftain staff — has made me feel right at home.”

Heisel, 44, earned a bachelor’s degree in English Literature at the University of Montana in 1994. He later studied journalism for two years as a graduate student at UM before landing his first newspaper job at The Eastside Journal in Bellevue, Wash., in 2000.

Heisel returned to his hometown in 2001 to work as a copy editor and page designer at the Missoulian newspaper. In 2004 he took a job with The Daily News in Longview, Wash., where he worked until last July. He most recently served as features editor as well as assistant managing editor in charge of digital publishing.

“I’ve spent the last seven years exploring all the new ways to serve readers through websites and social media, and I look forward to utilizing that experience in my new role in Wallowa County,” he said.

Prior to his journalism career, Heisel worked for a family-owned grocery store in Missoula for seven years during high school and college. He is recently divorced and has two beagles, Archie and Henry.

The Chieftain traces its beginnings to 1884. In 2000 it was acquired by the company now known as EO Media Group, which also includes the East Oregonian in Pendleton, the Blue Mountain Eagle in John Day, and eight other regional newspapers.