This is a tough one to write, so I may as well get to the point.
I've accepted a job at WPLG-TV (Channel 10) and will be starting there in a couple of weeks. The offer was pretty simple: Local 10 asked me if I wanted to bring my brand of journalism to the airwaves, and I accepted the challenge.
The truth is that if five years ago somebody would have told me this was going to happen, I wouldn't have believed them. I had no desire to go to TV; I've always been a true-blue print guy. But the more work I've done on-screen -- from Frontline to the documentary Outrage to This Week in South Florida (with WPLG's own Michael Putney) to True Crime With Aphrodite Jones -- the more I liked it. There's an immediacy and excitement in it that's easy to love.
That it was WPLG only made the decision easier. It's a Post-Newsweek station with a longstanding dedication to high-quality political and government reporting. I've got a lot to learn, but I also bring something to the table, so it has the makings of a great match.
Don't worry; things won't change much in terms of my journalism. I'll still be breaking stories about government and public officials, exposing scoundrels, and trying to get to the bottom of what's really happening with our tax dollars. I'll have a blog on the Local 10 website too.
As much excitement as there is in starting a new chapter, there's a lot of pain about leaving New Times too. Thirteen years ago, this newspaper (specifically its owner and founder, Michael Lacey) gave me a journalistic home like no other, one with wonderfully talented colleagues and unparalleled freedom. The newspaper basically said: We believe in you -- now go out and break stories. And what stories! I've had the opportunity to expose rampant mismanagement at the immigration service in the wake of September 11, conduct investigations of local politicians that have led to several indictments, shake up the courthouse, call out a derelict and bankrupt school board, and introduce you to the disaster that was Scott Rothstein.
But the real beauty of this blog is you, especially those of you who make yourselves known in the comments. I can't start listing you, because I would leave somebody out, but this is a joint effort, an interactive affair. I'm certain that as many people read this thing to see what you're saying as they do to read what I've written.
OK, now this is starting to sound like a farewell post. It's not. I'll be here until May 11, churning out blog posts and easing the transition before I start the new gig. The bottom line is that the Pulp will live on here and New Times, and I'm going to continue to dig up the truth in this town.
In other words, the beat goes on.