Friday, March 31, 2023

My Goodbye Letter to KGUN

This looks like the end of my journalism career. It started in 1997, when I was a U of A student who the newspaper hired to cover high school sports. When I first started, there were still typewriters in the newsroom, the phones were dumb and there was no internet on the computers.

I was one of the youngest people at the paper, and even when I was laid off at age 35 in 2014, I was still one of the youngest people working there at the time. For my last eight years at the paper, there were no pay raises, constant layoffs and everyone was always grouchy and miserable. No one in management was interested in my input about our direction or strategy. When it came time for my head to roll, I was ready for something new.

Three weeks later, I started at KGUN, and it was a refreshing change. Suddenly, I was the old man. People cared what I had to say, and my opinions about what we should cover and how we should go about doing it mattered. I was only getting paid $13 an hour, but I was refueled. I felt just like many of my coworkers, a year or two out of college and eager to embark on a new career. Soon after I started, Scripps completed its acquisition of KGUN, and there was a philosophy of investment in place. Instead of layoffs, new positions were added.

There was something special about this place. I felt like I belonged. It didn't take long to see that being laid off by the paper and hired by KGUN was the best thing that could have happened to me.

In my nearly nine years at KGUN, I've gotten older, but most of my coworkers are just about the same age as when I started. The youthful energy and enthusiasm has always ignited me, and was shared by most of my colleagues here who were my age or older. I mentored the younger journalists all I could, but they taught me much more. 

It was always sad to see coworkers leave, but it was also inspiring, because they so often fulfilled the dreams they had that drove them as they paid their dues here and found their voices as they sharpened and discovered their talents. Over the years, KGUN embraced its role as a finishing school for the stars, launching journalists to greatness. 

I worked a little more than 2,000 shifts here in my 8 1/2 years. Every day was a fresh new challenge, and it fueled my competitive spirit to try to help us nail breaking news and finding stories before the competition. I thrived on being a part of the team.

I also did things I never believed would be possible. Thanks to support from managers who were willing to try wild ideas, I ended up reviewing movies on the website, and then on air, for more than six years. I even got to review some video games on TV.

I am grateful to everyone I worked with at KGUN in the past and today. I now have friends I met here who are doing amazing things all over the country, as well as this newsroom.

I have a deep respect for everyone at KGUN. You do incredibly tough jobs that take guts and commitment. You are truth-seekers and tellers, and it's been an honor to share that mission with you.

Wishing you the best,

ATTENTION LONGTIME CONTACTS: My new work email will be

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