Tuesday, April 8, 2014

CP founding editor Stephanie Barna announces her retirement

... and no, T-Rav didn't force her out

Posted by Stephanie Barna on Tue, Apr 8, 2014 at 12:42 PM

I've always wanted to retire early, and even though it's not a true retirement, I can't bring myself to say that I'm quitting the City Paper. It's more like a separation, a break. Some time apart. It might be permanent, it might not. Who knows? 

What I do know is that when we started the City Paper back in 1997, my husband Blair, our business partner Noel Mermer, and I could never have predicted where we'd be in 2014. Those early years were lean and mean, but the growth was phenomenal. Today, we're a full-on media company, with a thriving website, multiple publications, and a weekly paper that people still seek out and use in their daily lives. Take that internet. Back in the bleak days of 2008 (remember the Great Recession?), we didn't know what the outcome would be then either. Everyone was predicting the death of print. But we held on and worked our tails off to emerge on the other side in a much brighter world. And I'm glad we did.

So why am I leaving this thriving, fun place to work? Because change is necessary. Did I mention that I work with my husband? We just celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary, and this paper is almost 17 years old (and our oldest kid is 15). Enough said? The paper is our third child, and while our arguments and debates about said child faded away long ago, we still have this living, breathing thing that requires a majority of our energy. Something's gotta give.

I am leaving the editorial department in great shape. Chris Haire, my long-suffering managing editor, will finally have unfettered control to blast internet trolls and smarmy politicians... Oh, right, he already does that. Haire is (most likely) not twirling his mustache while pondering nefarious plans to decimate all that has come before him. He is a true alt-media guy and will continue to do his best work.

All editors need a great number two, so to that end, we hired Kinsey Gidick away from Charleston Magazine. She's currently being trained in all things snark (not a hard lesson for her since she interned with us way back in 2006 as a CofC undergrad) and will become the managing editor when I leave in June. Kinsey will be taking over the food and arts beats, keeping everyone informed on the happenings around town

We've added Kelly Rae Smith, another former intern, to our stable as a part-time music editor. The music scene is blowing up and she's well-versed in what's going on around town and will help guide the City Paper's coverage.

The fantastic, award-winning Paul Bowers (SCPA weekly journalist of the year!) will continue to tell amazing stories and keep you informed on the political shenanigans going on around the city and state. And our calendar girl Melissa Tunstall has got you covered when it comes to film and events around town.  

As for me, let's just say I'm exploring opportunities. I will be cheering the City Paper on from the sidelines, and I expect good things from it in the future. Stay in touch

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