Howard Troxler leaving St. Pete Times; read here Times' announcement — and a few thoughts from Trox

in Uncategorized by

Breaking news out of the St. Petersburg Times. Columnist Howard Troxler is leaving the newspaper. ***Updated***: Trox’s column announcing his move is now up here. Here is the Times’ internal announcement:

I remember a conversation in the early ?0s with my former CQ boss Neil Skene about the dearth of great metro newspaper columnists ? the sharp-witted personalities who were the first thing you? turn to when the paper came. I (the Chicagoan) told him how Mike Royko had stoked my interest in newspapers, and how inspiring it was to work beside Carl Hiaasen in Miami.
?? put Howard Troxler in that league, for sure,?Skene said.
Soon thereafter I came to St. Petersburg and discovered what Skene and hundreds of thousands of Tampa Bay readers already knew: Troxler is a world class columnist, loved, respected and at times reviled by the powerful and the powerless. He is a can? miss read, a St. Pete Times institution. Heck, he? even part of the local dialogue — ?id you read Troxler today??/div>

While we work laboriously to avoid disappointing our readers each day, I must confess that tomorrow we will fail. In the morning Howard will let the world know that he is bringing his column and his career at the St. Pete Times to a close.

Howard and his wife Lynn Casey are relocating ?going back home actually ?to North Carolina. His last column will appear June 12th.

We swiped Howard away from the Tampa Tribune and he started his career at the Times on May 6, 1991. He? been a marquee feature of our metro report ever since, including a two-year stint as the paper? political editor. Howard has been widely recognized in state and national journalism contests, including four First Place awards in the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors contest. (The fourth is yet to be announced; we just found out unofficially last week.)
Howard? trademarks are passion and the courage to call ?ull?on conventional or lazy thinking. He is an extremely talented writer who does not coast on merely offering a clever phrase or a witty line. His success is rooted in how much he cares about his community, democracy, and the power of journalism. As a result, he has become the face of an assertive news organization grinding it out every day to help make the world a better place. We will miss him.
Between now and the time his car heads north, we?l find opportunity to celebrate Howard and his work. Meanwhile, I asked him to pen a few thoughts on his decision.

?This is the fulfillment of a longtime dream for us. We’ve been talking for years about a life up in the North Carolina mountains, close to our family and some of our dearest friends. Over the past few months we’ve been actively planning it. My friends ask me: What are you going to do? For starters, I’m going to unpack, make a new home, give Louie the Dog a long walk in the mountains every morning, and attempt to learn to make a fine fruit jam. As for what comes after that, we’ll see.

I cannot tell you how proud I am of the St. Petersburg Times and what it means to the state of Florida, and how grateful I am to have worked here for 20 years. It is more important and beautiful a beacon today than it ever has been. What matters most in democracy is truth and light — especially when there are so many people trying to avoid truth and light — and those are exactly what a great newspaper provides.

If you’re ever in Saluda, N.C., a little southeast of Asheville, there’s a restaurant on Main Street called the Purple Onion. My wife and sister-in-law started it 12 years ago and it has stayed in the family. I will either be sitting at the bar, or if I’m in the mood and they let me do it, waiting tables. In either case I will be a blissfully happy man.

Best always,

Howard?/blockquote>

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.