Mark Naymik, one of Cleveland.com's best and longest-tenured reporters, announced today that he is leaving the dot com for WKYC Channel 3.
The move will undoubtedly be a blow to Cleveland.com's watchdog coverage, of which he produced a lion's share, and will by the same token be a boon to WKYC's. The good news is that he'll still be providing Cleveland with accountability reporting of the highest quality.
"As part of our continuing effort to engage highly talented, uniquely Cleveland voices who reflect the dynamic and diverse culture of our city, we are excited to welcome Mark Naymik to WKYC," the station's president and general manager Micki Byrnes said.
Naymik's import over the combined 19 years he spent at the Plain Dealer and Cleveland.com, and this humble altweekly rag before that
, is clear. With a deep knowledge of the region and a source-rolodex that might be unmatched in Cleveland, he's tackled, in just the past year, Ken Johnson's apparently endless malfeasance, expanded on the story of Missing Mayor Jackson, watched the Metroparks and CEO Brent Zimmerman, chronicled and fought Cleveland's secretive Amazon bid, and provided indispensable coverage and context on the ongoing county corruption scandal. There's a reason WKYC has been eagerly courting his services for a while now.
"Though I started my journalism career more than 20 years ago with just a pen in my hand, I have come to rely on the power of broadcast and digital news platforms to cover and connect with our community in real time," Naymik told his future employer
. "Channel 3 presents the best of both worlds. I can't wait to contribute to the WKYC team and play to try many new approaches to storytelling with enterprising and thorough reporting backing it up. I look forward to hearing from WKYC's viewers and readers and promise to listen first — and then ask a ton of questions on their behalf."
No word on how much texting will be involved.
As for Cleveland.com, editor and president Chris Quinn didn't respond to a request for comment, and it's unclear if or when they'll be seeking a replacement. What is clear is they've lost a wealth of talent, professionalism and institutional knowledge in the move. It should go without saying that the newsroom is understandably sad to see him go and that any replacement, no matter how talented, probably won't have two decades-worth of sources and experience covering the city.
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