Bob Collins speaks to colleagues at a retirement potluck inside of MPR in St. Paul on Thursday, May 30, 2019. Evan Frost | MPR News

Bob, as he often did, challenged his editors.

That is a good thing.

NewsCut is Bob Collins — in its humanity, snark, thoughtful, keen and often incisive writing.

So when he announced his retirement, we were left with a quandary: Do we continue NewsCut as Bob created it? Do we create something brand new and keep calling it NewsCut or do we retire the blog with Bob?

There’s also a fourth option: We archive the blog and take some time to assess what comes next.

That was actually Bob’s idea. He thought we should ask the journalists in the room what should come next. He challenged us, his editors, to get out of the way and let the best ideas come from the folks closest to the work. Classic Bob.

We are doing that.

But what a great opportunity to ask you, too: What do you want to come next? What is missing from our coverage? What don’t you get enough of or want more of?

I hope you will leave your ideas and thoughts in the comments here or email me directly at or message me on Twitter @chrisgraves

Thank you for being loyal NewsCut readers and also supporters of MPR News.

Chris Graves is MPR News managing editor, digital

I actually thought I had nothing left to say.

And then you all gave me the greatest day of my life on Thursday with the exceptions of the day I married a woman whom I can’t wait to run home to every day, and the day the two greatest kids in the world were born.

For many years, on days I would struggle with things, I watched this — one of the greatest moments in the history of television.

And I always thought, wouldn’t it be nice to go out with such love?

And then, at 4:29 p.m. on Thursday, I did.

It would be my preference you listen to the extended interview and then all 2 1/2 hours, but if you want to cut to the chase, then scroll on No. 3 to 29:40 and  you’ll pretty well get the picture. Let the love wash over you. And take note of the song that plays after.

After that, I got a chance to cry my way through my goodbyes to the staff of The Current, providing a wobbly  bookend to the day, which started with a poor attempt to get through my remarks to the newsroom.

As I told my colleagues later, “this  is what happens when you wait 27 years to tell people how much you love them.”

Then it was a session with Jana Shortal and Carly Danek. And, again with the crying.

And then Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan read a proclamation declaring Friday Bob Collins Day in Minnesota.

All that and two lengthy pieces from both Morning Edition and All Things Considered too.

It’s going to take awhile for me to process what happened and at some point I’ll write something meaningful, probably at my old blog, Stirrings From the Empty Nest.

Though I’ve made my living in the last 21 years online, I will always be a “radio person.”

I don’t read scripts when I’m on the radio (one of the reasons, I think, I was banned years ago from membership drives at MPR) and I never let show hosts tell me what questions they’re going to ask, because I always figured if I can’t tell the story off the top of my head with the words from my heart, then I’m not ready to tell the story at all, especially on a medium that should be nothing more than a conversation.

I wasn’t sure how this radio career would end at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday. I trusted Mary — as I’ve always trusted Mary — to get us to the moment we needed to get to, and allow you to share it with us, just as radio intended.

And so it gives me a great satisfaction that the last words I’ll ever utter on a radio station — and the last words I’ll write on this blog are the same:  “I love you…”

Being a member of the MPR News staff for a little over a year, and located outside of the St. Paul office, I’ve only had the privilege to observe the NewsCut magic as many readers have, with interactions through emails and reading Bob Collins’ words.

But the one time I got to meet Bob in person turned into my favorite NewsCut moment, and it doesn’t even appear on this blog.

After Bob published “Nothing irks some white people like accurate history,” I noticed that a considerable amount of traffic came from the Twin Cities subreddit.

I had to share the first two comments with Bob.

No one should be surprised by his response.

“Pick one.”

Which led to this gem on YouTube.

I was lucky enough to be in the St. Paul office that day, and when I introduced myself, we shared a chuckle over him reading a bedtime story to the internet.