Goodbye and Thank You

Our ride together comes to a close on Tuesday; it's been my pleasure for all 1,178 days.

On Tuesday, I will serve my 1,178th day as the regional editor for Patch in the St. Louis metro area. It also will be my last. Along with my remaining colleagues, we will part ways with a company that we loved.

Here's why we loved it: Every single day we did our jobs, we received immediate and personal feedback from Patch users who let us know they appreciated what we were doing. People would see the Patch sticker on my laptop at Starbucks and stop to ask me about it, because they subscribed to their local Patch newsletter and loved it.

I met readers at local events such as the Clayton Art Fair or the Wildwood BBQ Bash who could describe Patch to their friends better than I could — and why they should be reading it. Even the people who complained about the mistakes (and sure, we made a few) cared enough to say something because they appreciated what we were trying to do.

And what was that? What were we trying to do? For me, it was very simple: We were trying to make this place even more livable by helping you connect to your local community. What was that noise down the street? What's going to replace the long-closed Dairy Queen on the corner? Why is the city council restricting parking? Can someone help me find my dog?

We did it by reporting on breaking news and local events, of course, but we also did it by helping you find information from other sources that affected your lives close to home. We did it by giving you tools to contribute directly to the site.

On Aug. 16, we learned Patch would be laying off a substantial number of its staff and that the St. Louis team, including me, would be gone by Oct. 15. As I write this, the word is that the existing St. Louis Patch sites will stay alive, available for readers to share their own blogs, events and bulletin board updates -- as well as to refer to the three years worth of content we produced. The reasons for the staff layoffs are not important to me at this point, and it's not my place to speculate on them. I prefer to focus on what I loved about Patch.

I loved this job in large measure because it felt like you loved us. I also loved it because I served with the most talented, dedicated, generous and team-oriented group I have ever known.

In my 1,178 days at Patch, 54 souls have passed through St. Louis' Patch team. Nowhere near that many served on the job at the same time. Some stayed only a few days before deciding it wasn't for them. Some were involved in sales; most handled the news and information on our 24 Patch sites.

I am thankful for all of their contributions, this team that served you with hard work and constant dedication: Holly, Maggie, Tamara, Joe, Jordan, Kalen, Candace, Aja, Nate, Myra, Jim, Rob, Gregg, Joe, Rachel, Gabrielle, Chase, Julie, Owen, Andrew, Alyssa, Jean, Dan, Michael, Tim, Ryan, Sarah, Karlie, Alan, Jeff, Tera, Marcia, Shannon, Angela, Sheri, Brittany, Lindsay, Doug, Bryanna, Frank, Doug, Brian, Brian, ChrisAnn, Sharon, Michael, Dominic, Erin, Courtney, Rebecca, Jason and Jeremy.
Among the 54 souls who have been able to call themselves Patchers here, I'm the only one left who was here to see the start of Patch in the region. And while I won't go on with Patch, Patch will go on without me in other parts of the country. I wish for the best to all my fellow Patchers nationwide. May you go on to make this a success and prove the naysayers wrong.

And for my friends, dedicated readers and colleagues, I just want to say thank you.
Stephanie R. October 13, 2013 at 11:06 PM
"Some stayed only a few days before deciding it wasn't for them" And others like Chesterfield editor Jean Whitney were shown the door after Patch got pressure from Chesterfield City Hall that they didn't like her accurate and hard hitting reporting that didn't make them look good. Patch could have been great but it wasn't.
Sedona Sam October 14, 2013 at 12:24 PM
Are you the same Kurt Greenbaum that got some guy fired because you didn't like what he'd written in the Post-Dispatch?
R Jones October 14, 2013 at 01:46 PM
Sorry to hear about this, although I guess people don't have to worry about Julie trolling their Twitter feed for the next manipulated story.
Myra Lopez October 14, 2013 at 02:10 PM
Kurt, good luck going forward and thank you for the opportunity.
Nathan James Birt November 18, 2013 at 10:25 PM
It was an honor to work with you, Kurt -- I appreciate so much your parting words and wish you nothing but fantastic things in the weeks and months ahead. You're the consummate professional and one heck of an editor.


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