Notes from a career (so far)

1981 — One week out of college, picked up the phone on a Saturday in a nearly deserted newsroom in Jefferson City, Mo. and wound up talking to President Reagan.

1983 — Ran down the street from the newspaper in Cape Girardeau, Mo. in time to get knocked on my butt as a building fire blew out the front windows of a storefront.

1984 — Almost tripped over the body at the first murder I covered in Little Rock; subsequently had the story cut down to a photo caption.

1987 — Tabbed to write the breaking news piece for an “extra” edition when Bill Clinton announced his presidential bid; he changed his mind less than 24 hours before the planned announcement and my soul is crushed in unspeakable ways.

1987 — Promoted to assistant city editor; was younger than everyone I supervised. I was an asshole the first year until I got a clue.

1990 — Moved to Washington to cover the local delegation for the Little Rock paper.

1991 — HOLY SHIT HE’S GOING TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT AFTER ALL

1991 — HOLY SHIT GENNIFER FLOWERS

1992 — HOLY SHIT THOSE DRAFT LETTERS

1992 — HOLY SHIT THAT 60 MINUTES INTERVIEW

1992 — HOLY SHIT HOW DID HE FINISH SECOND IN NEW HAMPSHIRE EVERYBODY HAD ALREADY BURIED HIM

1992 — HOLY SHIT HE’S WON ILLINOIS AND MICHIGAN AND HE’S GONNA BE THE NOMINEE

1992 — HOLY SHIT IS THIS BUS TRIP EVER GONNA END AND WHO ARE THESE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE?

1992 — HOLY SHIT I NEED AN EMERGENCY APPENDECTOMY 10 DAYS BEFORE THE ELECTION?!?

1992 — HOLY SHIT HE WON AND I’M GOING TO COVER THE NEW PRESIDENT

(1993 to 1995 goes by in a complete blur of HOLY SHIT, followed by ‘just weird.’)

1995 — This thing called “digital news” pops up and since I’m the only guy lots of people know who has ever been online for any length of time, I start getting cold calls. Wind up with Congressional Quarterly after losing out on a job at AOL that I subsequently calculated lost me between $3 million and $5 million in stock options.

1999 — Senior editor of politics for CNN.com.

2000 — HOLY SHIT THIS WHOLE YEAR AND THEN SOME

2001 — Finally end up at AOL; two years later, leave with my options $250,000 underwater.

2003 — USA Today

2008 — NPR

2014 — Industry Dive, a biz news startup, where I’m the first editor-in-chief.

2017 — AARP.

And now you’re caught up.

Randy

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