‘I see you’re the new editor, don’t f*&k it up :)’ (Opinion)
A couple of days after becoming editor of the Tribune, I received a congratulations email from a friend I met soon after moving to South Lake Tahoe in 2017.
It’s first thing in the morning. I’m opening my email with one hand and sipping fresh ground coffee with the other when I discover right off the bat … “Hey Bill, I see YOU are the new editor at the Tribune. Don’t f*&k it up!! :)”
I spit up all over myself. It happened fast. I was caught way off guard and couldn’t stop it.
It cracks me up still as I write this column to officially announce I’ve taken over the world.
Well, not quite the world, but I am Assistant Supreme Ruler of a desk triplex in the back corner of an office, in a building full of offices.
And all the desks are back to being full, but I’ll get to that.
While I am moving closer to controlling the world, carrying it is quite the load.
I was (am) feeling pressure to maintain the high standards that have been set here by the Supreme Ruler, Publisher Rob Galloway, and my immediate boss over the last two-plus years Ryan Gillespie-Hoffman.
In that time, our readership has grown big time, and it wasn’t just me writing sports and recreation and filming occasional backcountry ski videos.
Ryan was great at his job and is a tough act to follow. He put his heart and soul, and a lot of hours, in making the Tribune a damn good multimedia source.
He loves Tahoe. And that was before he finally learned to ski in March.
Now, he’s a tortured Cincinnati sports fan living in Flat-braska.
“Lay off the bottle my friend!”
I doubt we’ve seen the last of him.
But back to that early morning email, the tongue-in-cheek comment (I think?) couldn’t have hit closer to home if it smashed through the roof of my cozy condo.
“Don’t f*&k it up!!”
It could be great motivation.
It worked for Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon when he told Javi Baez to, “Try not to suck” before his Major League debut.
I know the supreme ruler here wants me to succeed and I’m sure he’s thinking, “Hey, do whatever you need, but yeah, don’t f*&k it up!!”
I used the fear of failure when I played competitive sports.
That made me work harder than everyone else.
And that’s my plan for the Tribune, work hard and cover everything possible.
I will have a bit of re-enforcements too, the Tribune has added staff.
Added staff? Wait, what? … Those two words together hardly make sense to a journalist who has been through massive changes in the industry (i.e. cuts, reductions, layoffs, job eliminations, slashes, reductions and modifications to name a few off the top of my head) for over almost 20 years.
But it’s true.
After Ryan left for the heartland, we hired Laney Griffo and you’ve seen her work all over the Tribune the past couple of weeks.
She is our main reporter and has grabbed the job by the horns while already jumping into a long-standing Lake Tahoe issue like the Loop Road and the Incline Village General Improvement District with its ongoing legal battles.
I’m sure articles on Measure T/VHRs, tourism, homelessness, traffic, cell towers and “The Hole” are around the corner.
I will continue to do most of the sports reporting. Being present at a lot of games right now as I transition into my new role with added responsibilities, is not going to happen. But I will do my best. I could always use help in the form of photos and information.
It’s only been a couple of weeks since I took over and things are slowly, slowing down. So hopefully the trend continues and I’m able to spend more time covering our athletes.
It should slow down even more when Cheyanne Neuffer gets up to speed.
Cheyanne, a local resident, started Monday as a copy editor and is helping to produce content for Lake Tahoe Action and the Tribune while also page designing and copy editing for Tahoe Magazine.
Anytime you can add staff it’s gotta mean the future is bright, right?
It sure feels that way at the Tribune.
Now, if I just “Don’t f*&k it up!!”
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