Newsroom employees at NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune this morning received an email that NOLA.com News Manager and 35-year Times-Picayune veteran Lynn Cunningham will leave the organization, effective today.
Cunningham steadily rose through the ranks over the years, serving for much of her tenure at the newspaper as Assistant to the Editor for Jim Amoss. Below is the email Amoss and Mark Lorando, Director of Metro Content for NOLA.com and Cunningham’s boss, sent to the newsroom staff:
From: “Amoss, Jim”
Date: December 17, 2012, 9:29:04 AM CST
To: NOLA Newsroom Staff
Subject: Lynn Cunningham
Colleagues, There’s no easy way to break the news of the departure of someone who has been as vital to our operation and as beloved as Lynn Cunningham, who has decided that today will be her last day in the newsroom. This will feel sudden, but you should know that Lynn made her decision thoughtfully, discussing it with us.
Lynn has shaped The Times-Picayune and NOLA.com in profound ways. She has been instrumental in the recruiting and hiring of the majority of our staff, has run our summer reporting internship program and made our high school internship program into an incubator of journalistic talent. She has mentored scores of us. She put together and ran our online desk in the salad days of the web, leading us into the digital world before the revolution in our industry had dawned on many of us. Lynn has been a respected leader in our midst but also our dear friend. We will miss her greatly, but she has launched us well.
Jim Amoss and Mark Lorando
Today is my last day at The Times-Picayune. After 35 years, that isn’t an easy sentence to write. But we all move on at some time, and this is my time.
One of the smartest things I’ve done, ever, was to answer an ad for an opening at The States-Item. My first job was in the editorial department. I sat near the beloved columnist Charles “Pie” Dufour, a dynamo with a zest for life and New Orleans who typed furiously on an Underwood manual, ate soup and crackers, and chatted animatedly on the phone – all at the same time.
In spite of profound changes in our industry since 1977, many similarities endure. We’re still chatting on the phone, still typing, still eating at our desks. And, most importantly, still covering this unique place that inspires us. Yet we are embarked on a new course: our phones are “smart” and we type on glass. We write from coffee shops and send pictures from the sidelines. What we thought of as “place” has been transformed: the newsroom is anywhere news is. And there are no deadlines. This grand experiment puts The Times-Picayune squarely in the vanguard, and I know you are up to the task.
Before I sign off, I want to thank Jim Amoss, who gave me the opportunity many years ago to touch so many lives at this storied institution. His trust is a special gift I take with me.
Having played a part in chronicling my hometown has been a privilege always. Farewell to each of you. I’ve been fortunate to call you colleagues.