Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Editor’s Note

Posted By on Tue, May 6, 2008 at 4:27 PM

click to enlarge img00160.jpg
That sketch of me to the right and down the page a bit is pretty unflattering. Unfortunately, it looks just like me. Still, the problem has to be solved one way or another, and while this may seem drastic, here’s the fix: I’m retiring from the Scene. I may be a lame duck (though not actually because of the caricature), but I’m leaving to try something completely new, to take an endlessly exciting, and unexpected, opportunity. In short, I’m attempting something pretty rare in journalism these days: a chance to make an exit while I’m still having an enormous amount of fun. I’m proud of the staff I work with—the most talented in the city—and the newspaper we produce every week. It might be a bit anticlimactic, but this is not a protest resignation, a corporate cost-cutting measure or a veiled firing. My next gig is as editorial director of Magellan Media, an umbrella company of book imprints and (non-newspaper) publishing enterprises headed by Nashville businessman Bill King, someone I respect a great deal. I’ll be working on new projects, developing business, assessing ideas and other slightly vague and terrifying pursuits that will probably tempt me (let’s hope unfuckingsuccessfully) to use the word “synergy” and will doubtless cause me to awaken at 3 a.m. in a cold sweat. But that’s just it: My best work comes in the face of blind terror. Plus, after 12 years at one place—as political writer, news editor, associate editor, then editor—it’s time for this root-bound journalist to repot herself. When I became editor in 2004, I informally imposed a five-year expiration date on the job, figuring that’s how long it would take to do the things I wanted to accomplish and still do them tirelessly, without becoming complacent. I’m crossing the finish line a year and change early. (And a good thing, too, or there might be even more metaphors in this column.) I can’t offer much at this point about our succession plan here at the Scene, except to say that I’m leaving the thrift store couch I bought for $60 circa 2000. The stories it could tell were it not an inanimate object…. Assuming the editorial power structure here wants my copy, I will continue to contribute to the Scene from time to time. And because I’ll be sticking around until the end of June, my staff will have to suffer seven more weeks of unsolicited grammar lectures, Luther Vandross iTunes and really dated pop culture references. Na, na, na, na…na, na, na, na…hey hey hey…goodbye. Oh, and I'll probably post a nostalgic note here on June 30, if for no other reason than we'll need content to feed the beast.

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