1. Sunday, March 28, 2010

    yesterday was my former boss meredith’s birthday 

    shes in georgia now.

    everyone now knows the famous email i sent her a couple years ago telling her how much better LAist was performing compared to the best LA Times blogs and not everyone would have taken such an email with the right attitude, but meredith always did seem to take things exactly for what they were.

    she gave me so much freedom, bestowed so much trust, but also had such great advice. dont get me wrong, i really like my new boss, but i think even he would admit that theres something special about meredith thats hard to mimic.

    there are very few people who i am afraid of letting down. ive already let down my mom so much that i know she can handle any embarrassment that i give her. and the Lord, well, He knows ALL of my sins. for some reason i wanted meredith to have this illusion that i was doing everything right. who knows why? so i operated from a place of fear – but not fear of failing, fear of having meredith feel like i failed.

    maybe i just didnt want her ever to be embarrassed for taking a chance on me.

    our blogs were up something crazy like 70% last year. we had major challenges on almost all of our top 10 blogs. from bloggers being poached, to internal struggles, to natural growing pains. but the biggest blow to the blogs we got was when she was offered a job with CNN to run the worlds biggest news site.

    not because she wrote a lot on them, or did anything magical to them – its more of an emotional thing. its hard to say. the womans touch but not really. something bigger than that, but in the same vein.

    when she told me she was leaving i said, i always said id follow you everywhere. and she said Atlanta. and i was all, nice knowin ya! perplexed i said The Constitution? and she said, no dummy CNN! and i was all, yeah they need you.

    like i said, i like her successor, a fellow who worked with her before at the nyt and was her right hand man at the times. so its nice to have two good bosses in a row. three if you count LAist. but i know that streak is a very lucky one.

    i have many stories about meredith, but one valuable lesson she taught me was that as great as the busblog is, this is neither the time or the place to bust with those tales. infact her first order to me, even before my first official day at the times was a very gentle one. she said disengage. and like a day later she had to repeat herself because im pretty much the opposite of disengage. and i miss her.