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Bye-bye P-I: One man's -30-

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by ArnoldBabar, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. ArnoldBabar

    ArnoldBabar Active Member

    And so it ends. Tonight the last P-I goes to bed, and with it my newspaper career.

    Like Chuck Hickey 17 days ago, I know I'll spend part of that day here with people who I know understand. I only wish I could be as classy and magnanimous as Chuck was, but at the moment I'm not sure I have it in me. I think part of the reason is that unlike the fine people at the Rocky, we were given 60 days to twist in the wind and grow bitter.

    The P-I made it through nearly 150 years, half a dozen wars, the Depression, saw the city it covers burn and burned down itself. But now the numbers on a spreadsheet say it doesn’t make any sense to keep going, so the company is writing us off as a bad debt. Of all the outcomes people saw for this market, Hearst just walking away (save for a handful of lower-paying online jobs) without a fight wasn’t ever one of them. Prior to this we never had one layoff, never had one buyout. As bad as it sucks watching the painful bloodletting at other shops, that will always bug me. My company just up and quit -- and was at many turns hamhanded and inhumane in the final process.

    So after 17 years in newspapers, I have to figure out what’s next. I’ve never done anything else and don’t know any other life. It’s one thing to lose a job, but something entirely different to lose your whole industry.

    Later, I hope I will be able to feel the gratefulness I know is inside me. I have never taken a journalism class, and started out writing rural high school gamers on a typewriter for a tiny weekly. What happened to me was a 1,000-to-1 shot with a lot of luck involved. For nearly a decade, I’ve spent my days inside the inside of the highest level of a sport that means more to me than I’ve ever been able to adequately express. The people I’ve known, the things I’ve seen, the places I’ve been -- I know many, many people would kill to have experienced that.

    But right now there's only the cold emptiness of having it taken away without any say in the matter. My infant son will never know a father who is living his professional dream. He’ll know a dad who at best is writing press releases about the latest in riding lawnmowers, and at worst is selling roses in front of the gas station. Then again, he’ll never miss a father who is away at spring training or on an East Coast road trip, either. So there’s that.

    Today we await instructions on where and when to turn in computers and key cards and where to pick up our severance check. Tonight I'll be in the newsroom with a bottle of scotch I've been saving, pouring it down the throats of my underappreciated copy desk.

    I hope you'll pardon the wallowing, and thanks to everyone for the kind words over the past few weeks. It means a lot.

    [​IMG]

    Good night, old gal.

    David Andriesen
    Baseball writer, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
    1999-2009
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  2. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    Damn it, stop making it dusty.

    I'm so sorry. I obviously know what you're feeling and going through. It really is unreal how this is all turning out. Everywhere.

    Be strong.

    God, this sucks.
     
  3. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    Well-said, David.

    It's a sad day even for those of us who never worked there.

    I heard the drinks will be plentiful in the sports department tonight. I'd buy one for you if I could.
     
  4. Small Town Guy

    Small Town Guy Well-Known Member

    It's scary to think how many well-written obituaries like this we're going to have read in the coming months. Best of luck.
     
  5. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    The worst aspect of this is that it's getting to the point that too many of us can relate far too well to this...
     
  6. OTD

    OTD Active Member

    My thoughts exactly. Good luck to you and your family.

    You (and most of us, when it's inevitably our turn) will come out of this OK. It's our readers I'm most worried about. By the time they figure out what they're missing, it'll be too late to do anything about it.
     
  7. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    Keep your chin up and your throat open, AB.

    Your job is the one I've wanted since I began writing, and I don't know what I'd do if I finally got there -- only to have it ripped away from me.

    If you ever come East, I'll buy the tickets. The seats won't be what you're use to, but the shirt will be optional.
     
  8. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    David, that adorable little boy is going to love his dad and be proud of him no matter what.

    Wishing you everything you wish for yourself. Good luck.
     
  9. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    AB, you're pure class. I have no doubt you'll land on your feet.
     
  10. AB --
    Started this twice. Everything sounded banal and inadequate. Maintain your passion for what we do. I honestly believe there's an end to this horrible period. We're going to need the likes of you when we get there.
     
  11. Wallace

    Wallace Guest

    Best of luck David, and all of those at the P.I. I've rubbed elbows with some of the reporters over there at various events, and they're all top-notch people. I can't imagine what you all are feeling right now, but I know one thing: I'll be grabbing up copies of the paper tomorrow, not only for myself, but the rest of my family who have all requested me to, despite them all living on the East side of the state now.

    I think that tells you something about what this paper means to Seattle.
     
  12. goalmouth

    goalmouth Active Member

    It's a small saving grace to know that the soul of the newspaper business will live on in the people who made it great, and that we were lucky to work with others who are talented and passionate about what they do. My bet's on you, Dave, whatever comes next.
     
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