This is not goodbye for me; I’m only about to enter a two-week hiatus before joining the Washington Post on July 1 to continue doing what I’ve done for a long time: write about the Redskins, focusing heavily on analysis. Safe to say I can’t wait to get started; they’re putting me in position to improve the way I report.
But that just makes this a bittersweet time. I’m thrilled to be moving on; I’m disappointed beyond belief that the paper is closing. I’m not going to spend time rehashing the problems of being a journalist these days, or predict where newspapers are headed. What I know is that people still need to get the news and still want to hear from reporters, whether on line or in print. But I’m not a media analyst so I have no idea where this whole thing is headed.
However, regardless of your industry or business, any time you’re in a place that’s closing after working there for eight years there will be an element of sadness, especially if you liked your colleagues. I’m fortunate to continue my relationship with the readers, but the guys I’ll miss greatly are the ones I shared the sports pages with, especially Rick Snider, Brian McNally, Craig Stouffer, Kevin Dunleavy, Jim Williams and Thom Loverro. It was an absolute pleasure working with such high-quality individuals. It’s also easier when your editors give you the ability to perform the way you see fit, which is what all of mine did here: Dan Rubin, Leon Saffelle, James Irwin, Jeff Tomik and Elliot Smilowitz. Quality people.
Snider and I go back 20 years, first working for competing newspapers and then since the Examiner opened. I probably spoke on the phone more with him than anyone else in my life, learning an awful lot about how to be a reporter and how to handle life’s curveballs. Those calls will continue. And I got to know Rubin, McNally, Stouffer and Dunleavy particularly well having worked with them for a long time. I’m honored to call each one a friend.
The Examiner did not last as long as desired, but it did provide us a platform in this city. And being with an underdog, you were forced to report news in a different way if you wanted to stand out. We had to build our audience almost from scratch and I think we accomplished that mission by being creative, working hard and becoming experts on our beats. I’m better for having worked here, frustrations and all.
I’ll see you in two weeks. I can’t wait to work with the people I’ve met, and those I’ve known for a while. I’m humbled to be joining such a talented group of reporters and high-quality individuals. But first give me a moment to reflect on relationships that I’ll miss.