Tuesday, October 02, 2007

A New Job For An Old Dog

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It’s said that it’s impossible to teach an old dog new tricks. I’m about to learn if this old cliche is true.

I wasn’t looking for a job when this one found me. The Traverse City Record-Eagle came calling one day last week, and today I went in for a face-to-face meeting with Editor Bill Thomas and News Editor Mike Tyree. Two nice gents, and we discussed a newly created job for their Sunday Outdoor Page.

They wanted ol’ Scoop (a newspaper nickname of mine) to anchor their Sunday Outdoor Page. We talked business for an hour, I had a photo taken of my ugly chops and walked out of the building with a new job. It means writing one column each Sunday, and by virtue of this blog, I’m asking each of you to join me on Sunday as I cover a timely issue which will ultimately have some affect on all of our lives in one way or another.

I spent more than 23 years writing outdoor copy for The Detroit News before I chose an early retirement in 2003 after my twin brother died. I’ve been writing a daily weblog on my website, and Sunday features as well, since then. That writing will continue, but I saw the Record-Eagle outdoor writing job as a plum that needed to be picked while ripe.

They like my brand of outdoor writing, which shows uncommonly good taste on their part, and I found their job offer to be something I felt like doing for a variety of reasons. So, a meeting of minds took place today, and at the tender age of 68, I launch myself into another newspaper career.

As those of you know who read these blogs faithfully, I am a strange bird when it comes to outdoor writing. I poke fun at myself, discuss my blindness in my left eye, write with strong emotions about many topics, fish and hunt almost every day, and write stories that people apparently enjoy reading.

I was averaging 555,000 unique hits before some fool hacked into my site three months ago and took it down for a month. It’s gradually coming back up, but I’m having to rebuild my readership numbers again. So .... the Record-Eagle job came my way at just the right time for many different reasons. I was still bummed out by the hack job, and looking for new and different ways to get my site back up and to do much more to prevent a repeat visit by the hacker.

The Record-Eagle job fills a certain void in my life I didn’t realize I missed until we sat down to discuss the issue today. I learned that deep down, in some dark and forgotten room in my mind, was an urge, struggling to get out, to write for a newspaper again. I questioned myself, and my sanity, and asked if this was a good fit for me. After talking to them, I realized they wanted to improve their Sunday Outdoor Page and I could be an integral part of this project.

Two men—George Rowe and Mike Terrell—will continue writing as before. The only real difference is the addition of the third voice on the page. My comments and thoughts, and perhaps a photo or two, will grace the pages every Sunday. I even let Mike Tyree talk me into writing a piece for the Thursday Outdoor Page this week.

How cool is that? Nothing will change here on my website. It will be business as usual, and I’ll continue to write as I’ve written on my website for nearly four years.

So, if you live within the 13-county area covered by the Traverse City Record-Eagle, tune in every Sunday to see what me and my colleagues are covering. We’re hoping to put a new stamp of approval on the page, and we welcome your comments. Send them to me at < >.

Posted by Dave Richey on 10/02 at 08:04 PM
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