It was eight years ago, almost to the day, that I signed on to be the editor of the Saskatoon Express.
They became the best eight years of my work life. I use the term “work” loosely because this has never been a job.
My first day at the Express will always be etched in my mind.
I carried my box of memories out of the StarPhoenix, went to my friend Doug McConachie’s funeral and then to the Express.
I miss Doug and think about him all the time. He would have loved the Express.
Recruiting people to work here was relatively easy. Ned Powers was the first to sign on, and Ken Noskye wasn’t far behind. I smile when I recall Ken playing hardball with me before letting the StarPhoenix know he was leaving its pages for ours. He called it a “squeeze play.”
I would like to thank all the other people by name I have worked with, but sure as heck I would miss someone. I appreciate all you have done for the paper and for me. The fact that so many of us have been together since the start says something. I am not sure what, but something.
The Express, despite its closure, was one heck of a success story. We battled through changing times in the industry. Our owners are to be congratulated for their faith in the printed word in what quickly became impossible times.
National advertising dried up, taking hundreds of thousands of dollars with it, and many local businesses decided to try different forms of advertising. Darn that social media thing.
As the headline says, this is the final edition of the Express. This is the most difficult column I have ever written. Usually I can bang away on the keyboard and suddenly a column is there — not necessarily a good one, but a column.
It is heart-breaking to say goodbye to our readers. You have been so good to us and I have met so many wonderful people over the years. We hope we made a tiny difference in helping get people to your fundraising events.
Thank you for making these past eight years so much fun, so rewarding and so memorable.
I’m going to miss you.