Mike Seely Leaving Seattle Weekly on Jan. 31

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It is with a heavy heart, fond memories, and unflinching optimism that I announce my resignation from my post as Seattle Weekly's editor in chief. My last day with the paper will be January 31, at which point I will move north (professionally) to Ballard to edit a worldwide subscriber-based commercial radio wire service for a thriving local company called ReelWorld.

To immediately defuse the sort of conspiracy theories which usually arise when a top manager leaves in the immediate wake of a paper's ownership change: No, I was not forced out, fired or asked to leave by Seattle Weekly's new owners, Sound Publishing. This decision is entirely my own, one which I've been contemplating for many months as I seek to put my family--which has welcomed two daughters in the past 17 months--on more stable ground. It's not exactly breaking news that the print journalism industry at large is in a fight for its future, which, while exciting in one respect (go ahead and throw it against the wall--it might just stick!), is not for the overly nostalgic or weak of stomach.

That said, in respect to Seattle Weekly, I sincerely believe the paper is surer-footed today than it was prior to last week's sale. I owe my career to our previous owners and still believe in and deeply admire their unyielding commitment to long-form journalism, but their decision to sell speaks for itself. They no longer saw fit to support Seattle Weekly, whereas Sound Publishing has been nothing but enthusiastic about its newly-adopted 36-year-old.

While I'm under no illusion that any career affords one the creative and emotional peaks that journalism does, I'm excited and incredibly grateful for my new opportunity. My rock-star baby brother works for ReelWorld, as does former Seattle Weekly staffer Erika Hobart, who is like family to me and with whom I'll be working closely as we seek to expand the reach of a thoughtfully conceived, cutting-edge product. My boss will be one of my best friends since Kindergarten, one who cared enough about me in my twenties to introduce me to good tequila at at a time when I mistakenly thought Jose Cuervo to be a bitter monopolist.

Here's where I could turn this post into a chest-puffing litany of great stories I've either written or edited, but I'll spare you such bluster (although there've been many such stories). Instead, I'll leave you by saying that I've never lost the feeling of giddy anticipation as I approach the first Seattle Weekly box or rack I see every Wednesday morning, anxious to consume a new issue--even if I've got prior knowledge of everything it contains. Given the marvelously committed and clever hands of the staff I will leave behind, I don't expect that feeling to diminish one bit as I pass the baton.

So rest assured: On a Wednesday, in a cafe, I'll watch it begin again--hopefully for a long, long time.

 
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