As ominous as it all sounds, you remain a steadfast reader and fan of the Post. We're having this conversation right now in part because of your concern that Riverfront Times' coverage of Arnie Robbins' resignation might otherwise overflow with nothing but bilious comments from St. Louis media's old guard. (Before you — justifiably — call me out for excessive floridity, at least stipulate that "bilious" 1) virtually always improves the tenor of a sentence and 2) is unquestionably the modifier called for here.)

I would not expect any of the comments to be "bilious," and I know for sure that the great majority of current and former staffers would tell you how great Arnie has been — as a journalist and as a person. But he, and I, have made some folks unhappy over the years because of wrenching changes we either wanted to make or had to make.

I think Arnie did an excellent job as editor, as he also did as managing editor. Under the circumstances it was actually a remarkable job, keeping the P-D focused on smart journalism and meaningful investigative work despite the large cuts in staff and other resources mandated by ownership.

I know Gilbert Bailón [the Post editorial-page editor who has been tapped to succeed Robbins]. He and I serve together on the journalism advisory board of the international Alfred Friendly Press Fellowships. He is an excellent, sophisticated and knowledgeable journalist, and he will make everything he can of the P-D.

While the staff size has been slashed, there are still many talented folks there. They strive for excellence, and it shows in the work and recognition, such as Robert Cohen's recent top honors in photography. is still my homepage. Until I developed this horrid problem with my hips, I was traveling to St. Louis at least half a dozen times a year. My mother, sister and many other close family members live there. I was out of action for fifteen months, but I am now resuming my traveling. I'll continue to be in St. Louis often.

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