January 5, 2010

Bouncing back: No retirement in Grand Rapids, some finding jobs, beat goes on

Six months of retirement was enough time for former Grand Rapids Press Editor Mike Lloyd.

The Press has two stories posted about Lloyd's new job as executive director of Broadway Grand Rapids. The first is an announcement, the second focuses on the organization's plan to expand from theater into an arts organization with an emphasis on arts education.

Both remind me of a quote shared in one of the many tributes to Deborah Howell, the former Newhouse News Service editor killed while crossing the street in New Zeeland. "I'm flunking retirement and very busy with consulting....We're headed for New Zealand on Dec. 26 for three weeks!" ," she wrote on a Christmas card to Ken Doctor. (And, of all the columns and postings I've read about Howell I still like Tim McGuire's best with Joe Owen's a close second. Well, obviously I liked Doctor's too since I'm quoting from it. Mostly, though, I'm touched by how many people remember Howell for more then her journalism prizes and hope they told her so.)

Meanwhile, a Tweet from James Briggs announced he was heading back to employment.

"My, ahem, vacation ends today. Starting my gig as online sports producer for The Oakland Press, a rare daily paper with rising circulation."
He had left a job as prep sports reporter for the AnnArbor.com to cover the Detroit Lions and Red Wings for the Detroit Daily Press, which stopped printing almost as soon as it started. You can read Briggs' Detroit Daily Press was fool's gold for more about that. Or read Briggs post about how few challenged anything about the newspaper's plans.) Briggs had taken a two-year leave from journalism before returning to Michigan. I had stumbled across him in March through a blog post about the death of the Ann Arbor News (now deleted!#$!) Meanwhile, Crain's Bill Shea says no sign of revival of the newspaper.

Back to Lloyd, Press editor for 31 years before retiring in July, for a minute. He will head Broadway Grand Rapids, a non-profit organization that signed a management agreement with Michigan State University's Wharton Center for Performing Arts. in October. The Press article says Lloyd will work with the Wharton, which is booking several productions in the Grand Rapids area this season, to improve the western Michigan organization. He'll face an uphill battle as the state of Michigan continues to ax funding for arts organizations and arts education.

Speaking of battles, I'm off to fight several of mine own so blogging may be more like the December pace then earlier in 2009. I'm trying to catch up on some of my Internet reading, so I noticed that Free From Editors had a post about the Saginaw News, Flint Journal and Bay City Times seeking reporters; that the AnnArbor.com shared web traffic insight in response to an anonymous Ann Arbor blog and mlive.com seeks a contract worker to write about employment in Michigan. Oh yeah, long-time business reporter Rick Haglund is blogging on a subject he knows well.

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