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Saying Goodbye..

by Joe Donlon

Bio | Email | Follow: @pdxpeacock

kgw.com

Posted on February 20, 2009 at 3:04 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 2:32 PM

It happens in every place of employment. People move on - for a lot of reasons. Some find a new job, others want to do something different, and still others want to spend more time with family. Maybe it's me, but it seems to happen a lot in the TV news business. Colin Cowherd, Dave Northfield, John Becker, Bruce Sussman, Joe Sottile, Gary Chittim, Larry Shoop, Walden Kirsch, Krista Vasquez, Nancy Francis, Ron Pivo, Nicole Doll, John Catton, and on - and on... not to mention the dozens of people 'behind the scenes' - whose names you wouldn't recognize. I could fill this space with the names of good friends - who have moved on. Colin used to joke - that we should just have a cake 'on order' every week for the going away party on Friday.

Today, I was reminded of how hard it is to see our co-workers go. And it takes on new meaning - during these economic times.

Our aviation reporter, Jack Penning, is taking a new job -- consulting in the airline industry. He'll be perfect for the gig. I've sat next to him for years - in our back corner of the newsroom. He's so efficient, he's actually been doing this 'new' job - at the same time he's been on the night team. Jack's on air work - was always stellar. But it's even more impressive when you understand how productive he is. I would often look over to see what he was working on - only to see a gorgeous Powerpoint presentation he was crafting for an airline client. Minutes later, he was on the air - fronting an amazingly produced story he had put together for our evening newscast. The guy is good.

You can take a couple of things from his departure. What we do in TV news - isn't nearly as glamorous -- or lucrative -- as many people think. And it's not easy. Professionals like Jack - just make it look easy. But frankly, it wears people out. It is a grind. The deadlines never end - nor do the headaches. And the next day, we wake up - and do it all over again.

That's not to suggest - we're the only ones in this boat. Everyone has their challenges, and deadlines. But at some point in THIS business, a lot of talented people decide it's time to do something else. For Jack - that time has come.

Whether due to layoffs, or some other factor - it's difficult to say goodbye to the people who have been in the trenches with you. I have grown somewhat numb to this empty feeling, and the names listed above should give you an idea of why. But today, I'm reminded that we are all surrounded by people who make us laugh, make us cry, and just simply make us BETTER.

Too often, we hustle through our daily lives - focused on the goals ahead - without stopping to appreciate those around us. Today, I'd like to do that. And I think I speak for everyone who has endured the painful departure of their co-workers.. especially those who have lost their jobs.

The feelings are almost always mixed. You're happy for them, but you're sad to see them go. You're excited for the new path they've chosen, but you're going to miss having that insightful ear to bend. You appreciate the strength it took for them to make this leap, but you know you're losing a valuable asset in the cubicle next door.

Goodbye, Mr. Penning. I appreciate all that you've done for us.

I am truly sorry to add your name to my list.. But I thank you.. and I wish you all the best.

Joe




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