Bring on the next adventure


When the news broke late last week that layoffs were imminent at the corporation that owns the venerable small-town paper where I worked for most of 14 years, I started to think about how logical it would be to lay me off. I suppose all of my co-workers had similar thoughts about themselves, but I just had a feeling.

I don’t take horoscopes seriously, but I do read mine because they often contain good advice. On Monday morning, I read it out loud to Red and we both laughed nervously:

“Changes at work are coming: This could be the luckiest turn of events that’s happened in months. To prepare yourself, bone up on your skills and make sure your client base is ample.”

If ever there was a moment when I went over to the dark side and embraced the idea that my fate is sealed by the position of stars light years away, that might have been that moment. Whether or not I “believed,” in any case, by golly, it was good advice.

And: A little after noon on Tuesday, I was given the word that I was part of the company’s latest round of cuts to contain costs.

It was a cordial conversation, and I was assured this was not a performance decision but an economic one yada yada yada, and they explained some nice going-away benefits, and off I went to let the folks who work with me know they were safe, and only I was leaving (at least in the newsroom; a trio of other, tremendous support people were also let go).

Now, my dear friends and colleagues have railed about how could the company do this, and I love them, but let’s note that the goal is to keep the doors open, and under this ownership the newspaper has endured for 12 long years since the previous owner decided he couldn’t make a go of it any longer. My fondest desire was always to grow the paper despite the odds, but in the absence of such growth, the alternative is to cut costs, and frankly I was the costliest cost in the room.

The paper survives to fight another day. My loyalty has always been to the 154 years of folks who toiled under the banner before me and with me, and not to the corporation that bought the brand, and perhaps that helped put me on the list. You know what? It doesn’t matter. The brand survives, and if anyone can save it from oblivion, it’s the incredible journalists and other people who still work in that building.

I am so proud to have been a part of that tradition and grateful for the high bar set by the people who walked those hallways before me. Anytime I started feeling my oats, all I had to do was remind myself, “Bluhm, you’re no Chan Harris,” or someone would come along to say it for me. I wouldn’t have tried as hard as I did without those noble ghosts chasing me.

Today is the first day of the next phase of my life, and oh, what an adventure it shall be.



  1. Say it’s not so ….. sorry to hear Warren, but you’ve got the right attitude. Bring on the next adventure and may God bless you through it and to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I always admire those who take the high road and I believe this is one of your best pieces! Enjoy the ride!


  3. I’m sorry you have to leave, Warren. I think you’ve been good at the helm. But despite your positive spin, I think the worst thing to happen to small-town papers is to get bought by a chain where profits for the stockholders are expected to rise each year. Cutting staff is the cheap, easy way to insure those profits; smaller staff, especially in the newsroom, means less ability to cover the issues and the features. Without those, who wants to read the paper or buy advertising?

    That said, I wish you well and hope the adventure is a good one!


  4. Warren, you are the kindest, wisest and most gracious newsman I have known in my career. With your many legions of fans, friends and connections here in Door County, I have no doubt you will come to see this as a most positive turning point for you and Red. You are a true leader.


  5. Holy smokes, Warren! I would not be the gracious broad thinker you are being if I were in the same circumstances. There is no doubt you will land on your feet and probably end up really enjoying where that is. I am inspired by your thoughts about it. Thank you!


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