Within weeks, I was on the hottest political story in a generation -- the recall of a sitting governor -- and by my first anniversary, I was forever hooked on public radio.
Today, after more than nine years, I'm signing off.
In April, I'll start a new endeavor but on the same California politics beat here at the state Capitol, as political editor for Sacramento's ABC-TV affiliate KXTV News10. My goal will be, as it's always been here, to help bring some clarity and context to a part of California that affects every single one of us... after all, it's our government and taxpayer dollars.
This political news blog began back on October 18, 2004 as me begging my bosses to let me experiment with online journalism. Now, almost 1700 blog posts later, it's become a staple of my political reporting career -- a place for both the small stories of the day that don't always sync with our radio mission, or the additional context that didn't quite fit into the big radio piece of the day.
In 2006, I went back to my bosses and begged to try something else new in online journalism: a weekly podcast. Those first few editions of the Friday Capital Notes Podcast were, well, a real experiment. But now, it's become one of the favorite parts of my week... and my friend and fellow political junkie Anthony York and I have been blessed by having a number of smart Capitol reporters sit in and dish on the week's events. I'm incredibly humbled by how many of you actually listen -- and have written in when we missed a week or two.
And yes, the KQED leadership team was bugged once more on Valentine's Day 2009 when I decided to take the 140 character plunge into Twitter. The irony of a public radio reporter, whose stories are lengthy analyses, becoming known for the staccato nature of tiny tweets...
Through it all, my KQED managers have been, in a word, extraordinary. And while you may not know them by name -- The California Report's senior producer (my editor) Ingrid Becker, executive producer for news and public affairs Raul Ramirez, news director Bruce Koon, and KQED Radio's general manager JoAnne Wallace -- you surely know them by the journalism they foster and encourage every day.
It's been an incredible ride here in our bureau across the street from the statehouse. From the largest budget deficits in state history to IOUs, protests, elections, reforms, and more... I've loved every single minute of it. And while I won't be a KQED journalist after today, I will still be covering California politics.
I'll also still be a loyal listener and advocate of public broadcasting and public media. I hope you will be one, too.