Farewell, but not goodbye

Published 12:13 am Sunday, October 6, 2013

During the past 12 years, I have written more than 3,000 editorials, at least 400 columns and far too many news stories to count.

The next 300 words or so will be, by far, the most difficult I have ever written.

Unless readers peruse the newspaper backwards or skip the front page, you probably know I am leaving The Tribune to take a similar role at Leader Publications Inc. in Niles, Mich. All you Notre Dame fans out there may be familiar with the area because it is about 10 miles north of South Bend, Ind.

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Both companies are affiliates of Boone Newspapers Inc. and I will still be very involved during the transition.

But that doesn’t make it any less emotional.

I certainly wasn’t looking to leave Ironton or Lawrence County. The Tri-State has always been my home. In fact, my family has made a number of decisions over the years based on the fact we wanted to stay close.

But opportunity only knocks so many times before it is replaced by missed opportunities and regrets. This move made sense and we believe it is in the best interest of my professional career and my family’s future. My children are young enough that they will adapt easily and make the adjustment quickly. I’m not sure if I could say that in four or five years after they became more involved in school and extra-curricular activities.

It was the most difficult decision I’ve ever made for many reasons.

First and foremost, the staff at The Tribune is top-notch and is truly like a family to me. I love each and every one of them and it has been an emotional few days with many tears shed.

The outpouring of support and kind words from the community is also why this was such a difficult choice. I cannot say enough about the friends and colleagues I have had the pleasure to get to know over the years.

The people are what make the region special and keeps moving the community forward.

I truly believe that Ironton and Lawrence County has come a long way in recent years. Even greater accomplishments and milestones look to be on the horizon and I regret that I won’t be there to see them come to fruition.

I am very proud of what we have been able to accomplish during my time at The Tribune. I think that, as a team, we were able to create a publication that people respected and wanted to read because the commitment to news values — while also serving as a positive voice for community change.

But, I am even more excited for the future of the newspaper.

The Tribune is in very good hands and I’m confident that the leadership team and outstanding staff will drive it to new levels of success.

As I wrote recently in my final magazine column for Tri-State Living, I have to say farewell — for now — but this is certainly not goodbye.

Thanks again for 12 special years.


Michael Caldwell is the former publisher of The Tribune. You can still reach him by e-mail at mike.caldwell@irontontribune.com.