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We’re saying goodbye to a darn good editor

“Be a good editor. The world needs more good editors, God knows.” These were the words Kurt Vonnegut used in “Letters,” and they’ve rang true in the building of The Advertiser-Tribune for years.

Rob Weaver is a good editor. I’ve worked with Rob for just under three weeks at the penning of this column, and it’s enough time to determine that Rob is a darn good editor.

Selfishly, I’m sad this week ends Rob’s long run at The A-T as he is leaving to pursue other ventures. But I am thrilled Rob is able to leave The A-T on top, as a passionate and dedicated gatekeeper of the local paper and community leader.

I have been impressed with Rob’s demeanor, knowledge of area and love of and service to the editorial staff of The A-T. He was in his element during the couple of weekly staff meetings I’ve witnessed, volleying story ideas with our reporters and other editors. A former staff member told me Rob had an “underrated dry” sense of humor, and I found it in spades during these meetings. During his last week and every week during his career, Rob taught, dispensing knowledge to our staff and I, doing whatever he can to set us up for future success.

It’s clear he cares about this paper, and for good reason. Rob has a long history with The A-T, starting as the education reporter in 1985. His roles evolved over time, adding in photography, city government and business reporting before being promoted to news editor, where Rob served from 1989 to 2004 under John Kauffman. Upon John’s retirement, Rob was promoted to editor of the A-T.

A good editor is often a sucker for a little irony, and I chuckled at the irony Rob shared when talking to him about his career. Rob spent his undergrad years at The Ohio State University, and spent some time writing code for a computer and information sciences course. It had him briefly contemplating a career in computer programming.

Lucky for us, he landed in journalism, where during his time in this business, he never found himself far away from all of the technological adjustments and advances our profession and world have seen.

“Despite the impact technology and the digital media have had on the news business — of, perhaps, because of that impact — journalism continues to be vital to our communities, and newspapers still offer a sense of community.”

That sense of community extended to the world at large on Sept. 11, 2001, when Rob helped quarterback staff coverage of an event that touched towns large and small. Working with his staff to put together a four-page street edition the afternoon of Sept. 11 is a moment that he’ll always remember.

“It may be cliché to say, but I will miss the people with whom I have worked,” Rob said. “But after 33 years here, there is a long list of people I have already been missing.”

I will miss Rob greatly and wish him the best of luck in his ventures, one of which, The Laird Arcade Brewery, continues its upward trajectory of growth.

While I will be assuming more of an active role in the editorial direction of The A-T and others will grow into larger roles, we will surely miss Rob each and every day. The show will go on, as this community and its newspaper are larger than any of us, but I will find a big gaping hole in our office when I walk through The A-T doors Monday.

From newspaper man to newspaper man, thank you, Rob, for serving your community and its publication. The succinct nature of his final quote, to me, said it all:

“I think a career in local journalism was time well spent.”

Jeremy Speer is the publisher of the Advertiser-Tribune. He can be reached at jspeer@advertiser-tribune.com or (419) 448-3200.

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