Au revoir, mes amis!

Interim editor
Reach Robert Speer at or 894-2300, extension 2241.

By now, you may have heard that my time as CN&R editor is ending. Friday (July 3) is my final day; this is my final issue, with my final column, which I appreciate your taking the time to read.

This isn’t a goodbye, but an au revoir—till I see you again. My wife has established her medical practice here, in her hometown, where we have family. I just joined Paradise Rotary and remain involved with the Butte Pioneers Regional Leadership Development Program. I’m not moving away, just moving on.

Since the brief item announcing my departure, I’ve received a flood of personal notes with kind comments as well as some questions—particularly: “What happened?”

Nothing invidious, I assure you. My boss sees the paper taking a different direction, without me in the lead; otherwise, the staff is staying intact, with Robert Speer serving as interim editor from the news editor’s desk. I wouldn’t expect changes to be too radical, at least in the short term.

Bob has been my partner here. He and I have constituted the editorial board, and rarely have we disagreed on a matter of substance. About the only time I can remember a split vote was the last gubernatorial endorsement, when one said Schwarzenegger, the other said Camejo, and we compromised with a reluctant nod toward Angelides.

The fact that you probably can’t figure out who favored whom is a testament to our cohesiveness. He’s been the editor for my column, Newslines and cover stories. I’ve been his editor in return.

All of us in the editorial portion of the staff box—including Meredith J. Cooper, Jason Cassidy, Melissa Daugherty, Christine G.K. LaPado and now Kenna Cook—have been a team, each doing his/her part for the whole.

That only makes sense; after all, the CN&R did begin as a collective. Bob was there, back in 1977, and I’m so glad for the chance I’ve had to work with this icon of Chico journalism.

I also relish the times I spent with the late Richard Ek. Even before I came here, I’d heard about “Doc Ek” (from one of his former students at Chico State, whom he remembered just as clearly despite the decades that had passed since her graduation). I learned from him and, along with Chico readers, benefited so much from his contributions to the paper.

He may be gone, but his commitment to incisive reporting echoes throughout the building. I could list story after story from the past three years and three months of the News & Review’s history, but you need only look at this week’s letters to see examples of our impact on people in the community.

What I said last week remains true: “The ball of emotions spinning inside me does not include anger or bitterness.” I’m proud of the people I’ve labored beside the past three-plus years. We’ve received awards and recognition together, most notably the Public Service plaque from the California Newspaper Publishers Association. I know the foundation has been laid for greatness to come.

I, for one, can’t wait to read it.