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FCW Insider: Christopher Dorobek 2.0... long live FCW


Transitions are never easy. Change is hard. That being said, change happens.

I am going to be transitioning. After almost nine years, I am leaving Federal Computer Week and 1105 Media. This will be my last post on this blog -- here, anyway.

I am leaving for two opportunities -- the opportunity to continue this blog -- albeit in a different venue and under my own auspices. The name of the blog is yet to be determined -- suggestions are welcome. I may just end up going with the DorobekInsider.com. No, it's not up yet. It will be up soon. In the meantime, you can find me at christopherdorobek.com. That currently redirects here to the FCW Insider, but... I'll get it up and running soon. I have enjoyed what we have been able to do with The FCW Insider, and I’d like to find a way of continuing that. In the end, the government community is a community, and I'd like to continue to find ways to foster that community. And it will allow me to create and grow something that is mine. It will let me create and grow something where the success – or failure – will largely depend on me.

The second and very exciting opportunity is to do radio. Starting mid-September, I will be the co-anchor of Federal News Radio's afternoon drive program, The Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris. (My team here has told me for years that I have the face for radio, so... )

Federal News Radio is making a real push into this venue, hiring Tom Temin, the former editor of Government Computer News, and my former colleague, Jason Miller. And they are moving to a new and more powerful frequency. Starting mid-September, Federal News Radio will shift from 1050 AM to WTOP's former frequency, 1500 AM. And my program can be heard weekdays from 3-7p.m. EST via the air -- or at federalnewsradio.com.

This decision was very difficult for me. And it has been an intensely personal one. Being the editor of Federal Computer Week has been the best job of my life, as I've pointed out many times here. I have been able to create programs like the Rising Star awards. I get to delve into amazing program like Virtual Alabama.

That being said, as regular readers know, it has been a difficult year. I had a major house fire, and then 10 days later, I had to put a beloved pet down... and there have been other challenges that don't need to be detailed here. (I should note that we have finally settled with the insurance company, so rebuilding will begin very soon -- woot!)

These issues have made the past 12 months exceedingly complex. So, as I celebrated my birthday last week and pondered the past year, and as opportunities came up, it seemed like a time to make changes.

Beyond that, it is a very challenging economic time -- challenging generally, but particularly for journalism. And, while you won't see it in any of the trade press, it is hardly news to anybody that it has been challenging for the trade publications covering government.

There have been unflattering posts about my departure -- positive about me, but they profess dire consequences FCW. The journalism blog, Fishbowl DC, included a post Tuesday headlined, "Dorobek's Gone...Is Federal Computer Week Dying?" And they are very kind to me -- referring to me as the "well-respected Federal Computer Week Editor in Chief." But the post goes on to quote a "former employee" who has some very unflattering remarks to make about FCW, the 1105 Government Information Group, and 1105 Media.

First off, it is important to say that the "former employee" isn't me. I don't give unattributed quotes. I either say it -- or don't say it.

Secondly, and most importantly, I don't believe the comments by this anonymous former employee are correct or accurate. FCW will be fine. Anne Armstrong and the 1105 Government Information Group leadership team, and the leadership of 1105 Media, are exceeding talented publishers. I have told both Armstrong and 1105 Media President and CEO Neal Vitale that I would gladly work for them again. My decision isn't personal. It is an opportunity for new and different challenges, at least at this point in my life.

This publication, Federal Computer Week, and FCW's sister publications, are absolutely vital to this community. While journalism may not be popular right now, having a vital press is so important. We need people who can challenge the mighty and ask questions that others are afraid to ask. And good publications are vital to having a robust community, to sharing ideas and creating a common language and framework.

I am – and have been – so proud of the work that the entire 1105 Government Information Group team does -- from our editorial products to our events to our suite of Web sites. FCW's editorial team -– and the entire 1105 GovInfo editorial team – includes some of the best journalists I have ever had the opportunity to work with. They are so passionate about telling stories that help feds do their jobs better. They are scrupulous about getting it right and getting it first. And they have showed incredible agility as journalism evolves. They are going above and beyond to focus on stories that add value, and are moving beyond stories that everybody else has already reported. Each and every person in the 1105 Government Information Group’s editorial team is so filled with ideas…and I’m thrilled that we continue to find ways to bring those ideas to fruition, even in these difficult times.

All of that being said, it is time for me to move on, at least for now.

Starting mid-September, you can hear me at over at Federal News Radio (federalnewsradio.com or 1500 AM in Washington, D.C.).

If you want to reach me, I can be found at cdorobek AT gmail DOT com.

A public thanks to Vitale, Armstrong, the outstanding 1105 Government Information Group team... and a very special thanks to FCW's loyal readers.

I hope you will listen...and read my new Dorobek Insider blog at www.dorobekinsider.com -- once it is launched.

As they say...I'll see you on the radio.

Posted by Christopher J. Dorobek on Aug 21, 2008 at 12:17 PM


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