On Jan. 10, 1974, a rather impetuous 24-year-old employed in the JCPenny retail management training program became angry at his regional training manager and walked off the job at 9 a.m. By 1 p.m., he was sitting at a desk at “Today” newspaper in Cocoa, Florida employed as an advertising sales executive (that’s what it was called in those days), staring at a brown glue pot (that will date you if you know what that is) waiting for another sales executive to drive him around in his newly assigned territory. After two days of said driving, examination of rate card material and handed an account list, (which by that time had been picked clean by other sales executives in the building) he was cast out into the world of the newspaper business.
Nearly 42 years later and only slightly more mature, I’m sending this message to you as that former advertising sales executive (with dozens of titles afterward) departs for the unchartered waters known as “retirement,” beginning Sept. 14, 2015.
While the road traveled has been a magnificent experience allowing me to go to places I likely never would have been, living in some wonderful communities stretching from Florida to California, from Tennessee to Rhode Island, and, of late, North Carolina, the road signs now indicate it is time to “STOP.” As part of many great people I’ve met along the way, I wish each of you in the Civitas Media family the best of everything and hope the continuation of your professional journey will be as meaningful as mine has been. I have experienced the good fortune to have shared a portion of my career with many people along the way and can honestly say I have learned far more from each of them than I was ever able to return in kind.
Perhaps our path may cross again somewhere, someday. While my wife of 35 years allows me to hang around with her for reasons unclear to me, what is clear, is she does not relish the notion of me being underfoot on an ongoing and continuous basis. I plan to spend some what I hope will be quality time with my children and grandchildren, some non-deadline oriented travel, perhaps even teach a couple of classes a week at a local college or something of that nature, but who knows? Civitas has indicated an interest in perhaps retaining some of my efforts on a contracted basis for special projects. If that pans out, you may look up and see this large guy’s shadow at your door someday.
In the interim, I wish each of you good luck and Godspeed. I can honestly say that for 42 years, I’ve done everything within my power to preserve and grow this great industry. It is now time to turn that effort over to those younger, more energetic, and certainly, of greater intellect than myself. My great hope for each of you would be you experience a professional life as fulfilling and rewarding as mine has been.