Goodbye and Thank You
Our ride together comes to a close on Tuesday; it's been my pleasure for all 1,178 days.
Here's why we loved it: Every single day we did our jobs, we received immediate and personal feedback from Patch users who let us know they appreciated what we were doing. People would see the Patch sticker on my laptop at Starbucks and stop to ask me about it, because they subscribed to their local Patch newsletter and loved it.
I met readers at local events such as the Clayton Art Fair or the Wildwood BBQ Bash who could describe Patch to their friends better than I could — and why they should be reading it. Even the people who complained about the mistakes (and sure, we made a few) cared enough to say something because they appreciated what we were trying to do.
And what was that? What were we trying to do? For me, it was very simple: We were trying to make this place even more livable by helping you connect to your local community. What was that noise down the street? What's going to replace the long-closed Dairy Queen on the corner? Why is the city council restricting parking? Can someone help me find my dog?
We did it by reporting on breaking news and local events, of course, but we also did it by helping you find information from other sources that affected your lives close to home. We did it by giving you tools to contribute directly to the site.
On Aug. 16, we learned Patch would be laying off a substantial number of its staff and that the St. Louis team, including me, would be gone by Oct. 15. As I write this, the word is that the existing St. Louis Patch sites will stay alive, available for readers to share their own blogs, events and bulletin board updates -- as well as to refer to the three years worth of content we produced. The reasons for the staff layoffs are not important to me at this point, and it's not my place to speculate on them. I prefer to focus on what I loved about Patch.
I loved this job in large measure because it felt like you loved us. I also loved it because I served with the most talented, dedicated, generous and team-oriented group I have ever known.
In my 1,178 days at Patch, 54 souls have passed through St. Louis' Patch team. Nowhere near that many served on the job at the same time. Some stayed only a few days before deciding it wasn't for them. Some were involved in sales; most handled the news and information on our 24 Patch sites.
I am thankful for all of their contributions, this team that served you with hard work and constant dedication: Holly, Maggie, Tamara, Joe, Jordan, Kalen, Candace, Aja, Nate, Myra, Jim, Rob, Gregg, Joe, Rachel, Gabrielle, Chase, Julie, Owen, Andrew, Alyssa, Jean, Dan, Michael, Tim, Ryan, Sarah, Karlie, Alan, Jeff, Tera, Marcia, Shannon, Angela, Sheri, Brittany, Lindsay, Doug, Bryanna, Frank, Doug, Brian, Brian, ChrisAnn, Sharon, Michael, Dominic, Erin, Courtney, Rebecca, Jason and Jeremy.
Among the 54 souls who have been able to call themselves Patchers here, I'm the only one left who was here to see the start of Patch in the region. And while I won't go on with Patch, Patch will go on without me in other parts of the country. I wish for the best to all my fellow Patchers nationwide. May you go on to make this a success and prove the naysayers wrong.
And for my friends, dedicated readers and colleagues, I just want to say thank you.