Sunday, February 08, 2009

Yet more change to come to the Daily News

The city's daily newspaper will once again swing open the revolving door, this time as editor Earle Gale takes his leave of the city.
Friday's Editorial page featured Gale's farewell to the city, in which he outlined that as of February 20th he will be leaving the city in quest of a new job somewhere in the shrinking newspaper industry.

Gale reviewed some of his time here and commented as to how he too will be joining the growing exodus of Rupertites, off to other locations forced to move on as the struggling economy finds little in the way of traction.

His departure comes just a few months after former Publisher Tracy McCall moved on to other ventures as they say, off to Prince George and a position in advertising at a Prince George newspaper.

The moves continue to highlight some of the turmoil that the paper has seen in recent months, starting over the summer when long time reporter Leanne Ritchie left rather quickly and with little explanation from the paper with out so much as a see ya!

While both the publisher and now the editor have passed on their thanks and best wishes, the popular reporter never did get to say goodbye in print, a development that left many wondering what was going on at the paper.

From that point there were a few months of labour discussions as the newspaper chain eliminated a local department and a few more employees and then eventually came to a labour agreement with its unionized Prince Rupert employees.

With the sudden rash of upper management departures and neither a replacement publisher or editor announced as of yet, one has to wonder what may be the next development on page four of the Daily.

So long and thanks for all the fish
Blowing off steam
Earle Gale
Friday, February 6, 2009
Page four
From the moment I moved to Prince Rupert four-and-a-half years ago, I've been amazed by the number of friends and acquaintances I've said 'goodbye' to.

A steady stream has left our town and almost all have done so reluctantly in search of work.

And throughout the whole time that our city has been hemorrhaging its inhabitants, I've been putting stories on the front page of the Daily News starting to imagine how it would feel to about how the bad times, surely will soon end, and how the good times lurk just around the corner.

I believed it then, and I still do, that the North Coast has a bright future, but it's true were still waiting for the local economy to bounce back.
With the growth in tourism, the emerging world-class port and good news on the horizon for Ridley Terminals, surely it is only a matter of time before things turn around.

I must admit, I had expected 10 be here as editor of the Daily News when that happened. Indeed, I was already starting to imagine how it would feel to stay in this job for a couple of decades and retire as a long-serving editor of this historic paper.
Naively, the last thing I expected, after I fell in love with this great town and its people, was that I would end up joining the exodus of people out of Prince Rupert in search of work, in some far-away city, but that is likely what must happen if I want to carry on working in journalism because I learned this week that I am to join the millions of victims of the economic downturn, at the back of a fast-growing unemployment line.

I will take with me many happy memories when I walk out of my office for the last time on Feb. 20 and I will be smiling, despite the disappointment. I have truly loved every minute of my time here.

Prince Rupert was the town in which my youngest daughter, Fiona, came into this world under the excellent care of the staff at Prince Rupert Regional Hospital more than three years ago.

My other children, Lucy and Ryan, at nine and seven, cannot remember living anywhere else and are surrounded by the best circle of friends a child could hope to have.

I have learned a lot in my time in this job. I have learned that one of the most impoverished communities in the province is also one of the most generous. I've learned that First Nations culture is resurgent and secure for future generations. I've learned that politicians can be persuaded to change their minds when ordinary people stand united on an issue (as in the case of coal bed methane and fish farms). I've learned that you don't have to stay indoors just because it is raining. And I've learned that great things happen when you open up your mind and give a place a chance.

I want to take this opportunity, while still editor of the Daily News, to thank everyone I have come into contact with for making my time here the most enjoyable period of my life.

Thank you to all of you who have submitted a photo, or a letter, or a column. I really appreciate all that each of you has done for this newspaper and our community.

I have always tried to make this paper reflect the true Prince Rupert. I've reached for balance and striven to get everyone's voice in the paper. I've wanted all our stories in these pages, the positive and the negative. My only master has been the truth.

I will miss you all if I end up leaving town, and hang onto the hope that our city will rebound and I, like so many others, will be able to return.

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