Sam Allard / Scene
Plain Dealer editor George Rodrigue delivers remarks at the community tribute to journalism, (7/5/2018).
Plain Dealer editor George Rodrigue has announced that he will depart from the newspaper's top position on March 1. In a letter to readers, Rodrigue said that he has accepted a role with the PD's sister company, Advance Local
, and will work with other editors in the Advance network sharing the lessons about collaboration and solutions journalism that he has gleaned from Cleveland.
"I’m going to miss my colleagues here in the Plain Dealer newsroom," Rodrigue wrote. "They’ve inspired me, every single day. Even the cranky ones. Working with people this dedicated to community service — to finding and telling the truth — builds powerful feelings not just of loyalty, but of love. I hope you can feel that, too, when you see their work in our pages."
Rodrigue acknowledged the difficult newsrooms changes of the past several years, which he attributed to trends across the industry, but said that he was grateful for new bonds that had been forged and strengthened between the newsroom and the community. He said reader input now has a more important role in the creation and execution of the paper's journalistic agenda.
Rodrigue will hand the reins to managing editor Tim Warsinskey, a newsroom vet who handles the day-to-day operations of the paper and has edited some of the PD's flagship series in recent years.
"As Tim is too modest to say, he’s been doing all the hard work around here for several years now," Rodrigue wrote. "You won’t miss me much, and that makes me feel just a little bit better about leaving."
News Guild Local 1, the union representing PD journalists, issued a statement wishing Rodrigue well and thanking him for his personal and professional support during a tumultuous few years, which have included multiple rounds of layoffs.
"We, of course, continue to have deep concerns about the local journalism landscape and where the Plain Dealer fits in," the Guild wrote. "Continuing staff cuts and the cost of maintaining two separate newsrooms and a remote design and production staff has made our jobs harder. But our commitment to the future of journalism in Cleveland remains strong, and we will continue to fight to tell the stories of the community."
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