Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Veteran Reporter Rob Johnson Heading to Florida

Rob Johnson at work
Rob Johnson, the veteran reporter who has written for the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and for us at Valley Business FRONT, is heading to Florida for a job as a military reporter on a large gulf coast newspaper, the Pensacola News Journal. He starts March 26.

Rob has been an excellent addition for us and has written for a number of other newspapers and magazines during the past couple of years since leaving Roanoke's local daily, where he served as head of the business news department for some time.

I, for one among many, wish Rob godspeed. He's a good guy and an excellent journalist.

Here's part of his note to me:

Hi Dan,
Watch for the unemployment rate to drop soon! Through a happy set of circumstances, I have accepted a full-time newspaper job once again.Yep, I never learn.
This time I'm heading to ... become the new military beat/general assignment feature writer for Gannett's Pensacola News Journal, effective March 26. I wasn't really looking to come out of semi-retirement but this job, with its timely local and global implications covering the huge Navy and Air Force presence on the Florida Panhandle, is just too juicy to resist. I'm as excited as I was at my first police beat assignment in ancient times.
With my lovely wife and 93 1/2-year-old mom in tow, I have rented a house on a peninsula across from mainland Pensacola in Gulf Breeze where we'll hold our breath and see how long the embattled newspaper industry and the overall economy--not to mention my abilities and energies--allow this career-extending job to last. Meantime we'll just mothball our great house in SW Roanoke County in case we have to beat a hasty retreat, not a bad fallback at all.
And Dan, I wanted to thank you for being one of the editors who kept me journalistically and intellectually engaged since the cold winter of 2009, when I rather abruptly exited the local newspaper in Roanoke. You're a pro and a pleasure to work for.

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