Back in June 2015, I wrote a column calling on the president of the Louisville Fraternal Order of Police to resign his position. It was titled “Time to Resign.”
This column isn’t about him or the police, rather the time to resign.
Something interesting happened to that column: The data analytics went bananas. On LEO’s website, Facebook, Twitter, that column racked up more hits than a Google search for “Bob Baffert pee scandal.”
(I’m not sure if that’s actually a parallel comparison, but I was determined to get “Bob Baffert pee scandal” into LEO this week.)
It was a fine column, but not one I expected to garner extra attention or interest. The only explanation I could surmise was that people saw the headline — “Time to Resign” — and thought I was talking about myself… that it was time for me to resign.
Understandable, except, I’d only been at LEO for about 10 months! Sure, it’s always been exhausting, stressful, frustrating… but it was fun, and we were just getting started.
I always wanted to test that theory. So, this is a completely unscientific test of my hypothesis. Only this time it’s for real.
In the coming weeks, I will be moving on from LEO, after nearly seven years. It’s certainly bittersweet, and not without some regrets — chief among them, that I didn’t outlast Mitch McConnell (but I did outlast Trump and Bevin!). I have a lot left to say and do, and I’m sure whatever my next endeavor is it will include engaging the issues I’ve grappled with in my weekly column. Maybe I’ll run for office. Maybe I’ll start a podcast… I hear that’s what millennials are into these days.
First, we have important business to conduct. LEO needs a new champion — someone to write the next chapter in its eccentric history.
When I took over LEO I had two main goals:
1. save a struggling paper, and
2. have fun.
The latter was easy. Working with smart, interesting people and engaging the community in myriad ways has been the best part, full-stop.
The former, well… we’ve been successful for almost seven years. Sure, there were mistakes and missteps. And there has been plenty of “If I only knew then, what I know now” reflecting, recently. Topping that list is probably: I tried to do too much — learning business while meeting weekly print deadlines took a toll emotionally, psychologically and financially. COVID-19 only exacerbated that strain.
LEO — like Louisville — is clawing back from the pandemic, and I’m certain that the right leader can build upon that momentum. But in order for LEO to truly reach its potential, it’s going to need fresh spirit, ideas, resources and someone who can commit all their energy and focus into its success. (Not someone who can’t wait to finish editing so he can go chase his 2-year-old.)
LEO needs someone who will protect the platform it provides for voices and organizations who aren’t covered by traditional media; who will grow the wealth of talented local journalists; and who wants to make Louisville a better, weirder… more fun place.
If you, or anyone you know, is interested in conducting this runaway train, we are accepting proposals through June 1. (So take Memorial Day weekend to mull it over, and let us know by midnight on June 1.)
All offers will be seriously considered — there is no minimum offer.
Special consideration will be given to offers that:
— enhance LEO’s future and presence in the community,
— value creativity, ingenuity and the eccentric spirit,
— engage the community,
— protect and enable LEO’s amazing staff to produce the best damn paper in the city, and
— demonstrate an overriding commitment to having fun.
It really has been/is a privilege to be a part of this storied publication. The frustrations and headaches — which are part of any job or small business — are vastly outweighed by the joys and rewards of working with this awesome group of people, and delivering this community a new piece of unique, free press every week.
We know you’ll love it, too.
Proposals should be no more than a page — approximately 750 words (or even fewer, if they’re really good words; 1,000 words max) and should include:
1. a description of your vision for LEO Weekly,
2. the resources and experience that will ensure LEO’s future, and
3. monetary bid. (No amount is too small, and nonprofits are welcome, as well.)
You may attach optional supplementary material to the one-page proposals, including resumes and portfolio materials.
Please send proposals, and/or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.