Almost every ending also marks some kind of beginning.
So it is with my decision to retire and the end of the month. For me, it’s the end of 23 years as publisher of the Arizona Daily Sun and over 40 years in the newspaper industry. And it’s the beginning of a new, less structured chapter in my life. For the newspaper, it’s the beginning of a new era under new leadership.
The newspaper industry generally and the Daily Sun specifically have seen a lot of changes in the past couple of decades, and the rate of change seems to be accelerating. We’re at a crossroad, which provides a great opportunity for new leadership to accelerate the rate of innovation while carrying on a tradition of journalistic excellence and community involvement. I don’t know exactly what the future of the Daily Sun will look like in terms of platform, but I’m confident that it will continue to play a vital role as a sounding board, a community rallying point and an advocate for transparency.
It has been a great ride. I have enjoyed being part of a prolonged community discussion about important issues like education, growth, community values and sustainability. I have particularly enjoyed the lively discussions in our weekly editorial board and monthly publisher’s advisory board meetings.
If you have never worked at a newspaper, it’s likely difficult to understand why leaving it is so hard. Newspapers attract interesting, talented people. The kind of work we do means that every day is somewhat unpredictable and exhilarating. I’ll miss it a lot.
When I first came to town in 1990, Platt Cline, the retired publisher, community advocate, author and philanthropist, took me under his wing. He let me know in pretty frank terms how hard he and so many others had worked to create a newspaper that was relevant, influential and financially successful. He kindly suggested that I had better not mess it up.
Here’s hoping I haven’t.