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 firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on Twitter @chrisgraves
Thank you for being loyal NewsCut readers and also supporters of MPR News.
For a few moments during the Thursday “goodbye” festivities, I was afraid I’d wake up on Friday morning in bed with Suzanne Pleshette. But, no. This is real.
I 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?
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.
Tomorrow is Bob Collins Day here in Minnesota. Lt. Gov @peggyflanagan presents the proclamation in the newsroom. Bob: “I dedicate this to all the bosses who tried to fire me!” pic.twitter.com/sOwTg1Bnwi
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.
Collins came in every day and made stuff that people wanted – really wanted – to read. That’s the best compliment anyone could ever get as a writer and reporter. He delivered the goods to the audience online and on the air. Read more →
Collins vowed to not write a goodbye post. We’re not sure if’s staying true to that, so here comes old friend Tom Weber “to sing a little on behalf of a friend who’s made immeasurable contributions to MPR and Minnesota.” Read more →
Paul Tosto applauded, supported, defended, and created a fair amount of the material that found its way onto these pages, and he did so without getting or needing attention. At least until today. Read more →
The voice in my head, the feeling in my stomach, conspire to tell me the answer: nothing. Apparently, this is the day when I can’t fool anyone anymore. I knew it would come sooner or later. Read more →
Franken isn’t talking about the quick push by Democrats to get him out of the Senate — led by presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), who provided the final shove — but whether he paid too high a price is still being debated Read more →