Hunter George is stepping down at the Birmingham News on April 30. The newspaper’s executive editor sent an e-mail to his newsroom colleagues on Wednesday to announce his departure:
At the end of April, I plan to retire after 42 years in the newspaper business. That career includes
- covering Jane Fonda while getting pepper-gassed at the Republican National Convention in Miami Beach,
- interviewing Otis Redding, Little Richard and B.B. King,
- covering one Super Bowl and two Orange Bowls,
- enticing 30 Miami cops to leave their duty posts and meet me at the FOP hall to complain about the chief,
- covering a Beatles concert,
- covering two plane crashes,
- covering the 1972 Senate race in Florida,
- supervising 150 summer interns,
- working 40 election nights,
- taking a call from Jimmy Cagney at 8:30 on a Sunday morning,
- and telling the executive editor of The Miami Herald that there was nothing going on one morning and having him respond: “There’s plenty going on; you just don’t know about it.”
What we journalists do is more interesting than what most people do. It has been a privilege to work with you for the past 12 years. I shall think of you all fondly and I promise to call whenever I see a typo.
The News has seen several changes at the top, most recently the arrival of new publisher and president Pam Siddall. Also, buyout offers have been made to the entire staff, with the deadline extended till March. Parent company Advance Publications will end its “no layoffs” pledge at the end of next week.
No word on if or how George’s position will be filled.
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