[To The Inquirer Staff:]
For the past five years I have served as the Managing Editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer and it has been a service of great joy and, at times, of great turmoil. But it has always been the most interesting, challenging, vexing and rewarding thing I have done in my professional life. Now, however, after much thought, I have decided it is time to do something else.
I am leaving to accept a partnership offer with a private-investment firm directed by a man I have come to like and admire over the past eight months. That man is Michael Dubilier and the company is Dubilier & Co. Working together with another equally talented partner, James Wu, we intend to buy, build and manage media, technology and entertainment companies. (The firm will, of course, retain and build upon its other holdings as well as work with its other associates in the partnerships, ventures and firms it already controls.) Suffice it to say, Dubilier & Co. is not your typical private-equity firm and as such it has the freedom to fund start-up companies as well as operate its own companies for any length of time.
I have joined Dubilier & Co. not only because it is time for me to chart my own course, but because I am convinced that innovative leadership in the world of media will make a difference in how journalists thrive in the years ahead. Those of you who have worked closely with me know that I have long been fascinated by how today’s journalists will become tomorrow’s. Over time, as I have watched the turmoil that surrounds all media today, I have become equally fascinated by how good journalism can be married with good business, for the former cannot survive without the later. I am leaving for the rare opportunity to figure this out in my own way, on my own terms.
The Inquirer is a fine newspaper and has been for a very long time. It got that way and remains that way because of all the hard work each of you has contributed. It has been a great honor to participate in that body of work in some small way. My fondest memories will be of the teamwork that was — and is — practiced in this newsroom in the face of challenges, be they journalistic or economic. In good times and bad I have been blessed with true colleagues who laughed, cried, worried, and triumphed with me. For that I am so grateful. The heart and soul of any newspaper, of any business really, is its people, and this building is truly brimming with good, talented people.
I wish you all good luck and good fortunes in your careers. The Inquirer has a passionate entrepreneur at its helm, a man who cares very deeply about the success of this company. Editorially, the Inquirer has a man with a deep, deep well of journalistic experience and passion at its helm. This strong partnership is growing each day and I could not be more grateful for that as it is the very best thing that can happen for the future of this newspaper and for all of you.
I will miss this newspaper and you, but I am leaving with the joy of a new challenge firmly lodged in my heart.