Wes Pruden Memo

Posted for the newsroom yesterday:


    You may be interested to know that my annual contract has been “rolled over” for the 12th consecutive year. I am not going anywhere, nor is Fran Coombs. Some of you may be surprised to learn that I am mortal, and one day I, too, will go the the great newsroom in the sky where there are no deadlines, no unreturned phone calls, and no editors to breathe down the necks of reporters on deadline. So, yes, one day I, too, will retire. But not yet.

    I have been asked to serve on a search committee for my successor, at a date in the future when such a search will become necessary. This will assure an orderly transition. I will tell you when this day comes (which may or may not be in your lifetimes).

    The Internet makes fantasizing easy and tempting, but you need not be concerned about church politics, the speculations of addled idle minds that would be more usefully employed at Alcoholics Anonymous, or whether Martin Walker, Howell Raines or even Max Blumenthal will suceed me. (Put your money on None of the Above.) The owners of The Times are pleased with what we have built here on New York Avenue, a newspaper of worldwide consequence that the founders could never have imagined. They have told me so. People who spread rumors and talk to rumormongers just have too much time on their hands, and should, in their retirement, get another hobby. Macrame’ is said to soothe.