Not Goodbye; Just A Slight Change Of Focus
By MICHAEL SCHENKLER
For what seems to have been a lifetime – almost 35 years — it has been my privilege to guide the Queens Tribune. Serving as publisher and CEO of any newspaper is an awesome responsibility requiring skill and integrity: to guide the chronicling of a community, to serve as a mirror reflecting a people’s way of life, and to advocate for the best interests of the community.
Inheriting the task from Gary Ackerman in 1979 – a much younger Gary Ackerman – meant that along with the high journalistic bar, came a commitment to community and justice.
As a fellow child of Queens, a product of Queens College and as one, like Gary, who wears the “liberal” tag proudly, the challenge of running the Tribune, was a challenge I relished.
And boy, did I enjoy it for what seems to have been most of my life.
As a former NYC teacher and principal, the Tribune world opened doors and offered opportunities I had never imagined and I am grateful for each moment.
As you have probably read or heard, our company has sold the Tribune and its other papers, and now, a new custodian assumes that awesome responsibility of keeping the official voice of Queens honest and true.
Me, I’m not walking away. The word retirement uncomfortably rolls off my lips and nags at the spirit of this person, who has loved being in the center of the action. So I’m going to hang around a bit. I’ll be remaining on with the new company as a consultant. I will be writing – hopefully frequently – about Queens, its spirit, its people, its politics and its challenges, all of which I’ve come to know well over the past almost 35 years publishing this newspaper. I hope to continue to work with some people and causes I enjoy and believe in. Yes, I may travel more, I may relax and play more, but how can I not come back to sample the ethnic food, the diversity, the most vibrant communities that can be found anywhere or break bread with some of the wonderful people who make Queens Queens.
Of course there will always be the politics – it’s in my blood. Supporting the right people, supporting the right causes, and sharing the analysis, all have given me hundreds of columns, several awards and years of pleasure.
The conflicts, the triumphs and the diversity of the most multicultural county on earth are an on-going story I plan to be part of. Its list of issues and challenges present too much opportunity for me to leave Queens, the Tribune and my friends. So, this is not good bye – just a slight change of focus.
There are many phone calls that I owe and many lunches I hope to eat . . . but of equal importance, there are many columns I intend to write.
Keep in touch; let me know what’s on your mind – you’ll be reading what’s on mine.
Michael Schenkler served as Publisher and/or CEO of the Queens Tribune from 1979 to 2013 and can be reached at MSchenkler@GMail.com.