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An unexpected turn for Findlay business reporter

Occasionally I like to slink back to The Courier‘s Web site to see what’s up with the city and newsroom I spent last summer trying to navigate my way around. Although it’s not in my daily reading (even the Stater has already fallen out of daily rotation, and I don’t know if I ever expected that to happen), it is nice to read about some of the people and places I spent the summer getting to know. That’s part of the reason I’m always attracted to the Saturday columns, which are written by the local reporters.

In skimming the latest columns tonight, I noticed one by the cops and courts reporter, Steve, that took me by total surprise. (I should warn you, the Courier’s Web site is, well, lacking.) My mind skipped a beat and went, “huh, wha?!” when I read this line:

“Hey guys, whaddaya think about the mayor stealing the Courier’s senior reporter and making him the city’s service director?” I blurted, wondering if either man even knew what I was talking about.

I searched my brain trying to remember the conversation I had early on with nearly every member of the newsroom. After learning the editor was celebrating his 40th year with the paper, I was so curious about everyone else’s tenure that I made it a point to find out how long everyone else had been there. As I read that line I tried to narrow down who the “senior” reporter would be.

It was the business reporter. The guy who taught me to “always take the penny” (long story but basically hold out and don’t go for the instant gratification). The guy who still loved his job, or seemed to, even though he’d been doing it longer than my entire life. Wait, what? Mike went to work for the city? It made me sad that after so long (27 years) he’d leave the paper. It’s a family owned paper, and I’d doubt he was up against pressures like lay offs, etc. (But perhaps? In many ways it was and is almost stiflingly behind the times.) But in some ways I am excited for him and proud that even after so long he was willing to try something new and different.

So, it could be good, other than the fact that it presents an awkward situation for the city reporter who will have to deal with Mike on two levels, as the friend who sat across from him for so long and as a city official. Imagine how weird it must have been when Jay did the story about Mike being chosen. At that point, he was still on staff. Did he roll his chair around to Mike’s desk or just peak over his own computer, “So, uh, you got any comments?” Awkward.

Anyway. It’s a good reminder that you never know where life may lead. Even when you think you have it all figured out.

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