Wednesday, September 25, 2013

It's me again

So, where was I?

Oh, I was saying bye-bye after 43 years at the Freeman, ready for some rest and thinking about new challenges.

That was at the end of July.

But six weeks into my new life, a text message alerted me to the resignation of Jan Dewey, about a year after she had succeeded me as publisher.

It wasn't exactly news I wanted to hear. Not only had Jan been doing a wonderful job leading Kingston and our company's other New York properties, but I knew a phone call was likely to come.

It did, a couple of days later, and on Sept. 17 I was back at my old desk, the one behind which I sat for 25 years.

I'd say it was like riding a bike, except I never learned how to ride a bike. (That's a long story involving the rules at the Parkchester apartment complex where I spent my formative years.)

Be that as it may, the company asked me to grab the reins again while it seeks a new publisher. I'm rooting for the search to end sooner rather than later. After all, if you've experienced an employee's sense of uncertainty awaiting the arrival of a new boss, you'll understand why I hope ours don't have to wait long before there's clarity and stability in their professional lives. (This presumes, of course, there are such things as clarity and stability in today's newspaper environment.)

Am I also rooting for a quick hire so that I can return to "private" life? Who, me?

That said, one doesn't just towel off 43 years of sweat equity in six weeks. Or, to put it another way, I've been telling people that just as Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda boasts of bleeding Dodgers blue, I bleed Freeman blue. Whatever I can do to hold down the fort, that's what I will do. The Freeman is too important to me and the community for me to not answer (excuse another baseball analogy) a call to the bullpen.

I'm in the office a few days a week. I can get away with that because we're fortunate (as I was most of the time when I was publisher) to have excellent department heads. They work hard and they know what they're supposed to do. Yes, they can lean on me, but I'm not worried about them toppling me over.

I've been catching up with the managers and their staffs, learning about initiatives soon-to-be launched and orienting myself about those already on their feet.

It never gets dull at our shop. Indeed, it wasn't dull even when I was a rookie typing bowling scores in our former home at 3 Broadway.

I had intended to resume this blog after a reasonable period of inactivity following the conclusion of my Freeman career. I hardly expected the first entry to be about the start of another one.
Funny how these things happen.

For the time being, you know where to find me.

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