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A piece of my heart. (letter from the editor in chief).

In the summer of 1996, there was upheaval in the offices of The Advocate. Unfortunately, this has been a tradition whenever an editor in chief leaves the job at this fiery newsmagazine. The hot August day that I became the first woman editor in chief of The Advocate was no exception. Rather than being a time for full-hearted celebration, it was a time for deeply mixed feelings. Some changes--no matter what else changes--seem to be born out of turmoil.

Since I knew there had never been a graceful passing-on of this important title in the magazine's three-plus-decade history, I made myself a promise: My goal would be to leave the editor in chief position with all the good feelings and accomplishments the magazine and I had fought for--intact. Even more important, I wanted to see this creative atmosphere serve as the right setting for the next editor in chief's journey into decision-making and leadership. There just had to be a way.

Now, after I've spent nearly seven years at the helm, the moment has come. By leaving my role as editor in chief of The Advocate, I officially take the last step into my position as editorial director of LPI Media. Although I have served as corporate editorial director for over three years, during this time I have continued to head one of the most remarkable teams in magazine history: the Advocate staff. No magazine does well or makes history because of its top editor. And if it does, that won't last long. It's all about the staff--and finding the right editorial staff for The Advocate, I like to joke (but is it a joke?), took about 35 years.

Unlike other award-winning newsmagazines in this country, The Advocate delivers the goods every other week with a shockingly small staff of editors! We have two unstoppable and multitalented senior writer-editors, Jon Barrett (news) and Anne Stockwell (arts and entertainment). Their associates, Lisa Wexton (news) and Alonso Duralde (arts and entertainment) more than hold up their half of the sky. Our managing editor, John Jameson, keeps it all running without freaking (try and find one of those!), and our Web editor, Christopher Harrity, brings the previously mentioned staffers' work to life twice daily on the 2002 Folio Award winner for Editorial Excellence, The layouts and photographs--often coming together at the last second for the best news coverage--are the result of the persistence and resourcefulness of Mark Harvey (art director) and Michele Fleury (photo editor). Other art and editorial staff who work on more than one magazine at LPI, including The Advocate (Craig Edwards, Michael Matson, Allison Moryl, Christine LaPorte, Trudy Ring, Christopher Church, Mike Grippi, Matthew Van Atta, T. Rhae Watson, Michael Edwards, Bob Adams, and Rob Chin), are absolutely invaluable to the biweekly creation and re-creation of this one-of-a-kind publication.

The one important person I have yet to mention is Bruce Steele. After serving as the magazine's executive editor for three years, Bruce spent 2002 as the editor, directing much of The Advocate's outstanding content. Difficult as it is for me to hand over the reins of this extraordinary magazine, I am completely confident and excited about Bruce's well-earned ascent into this prestigious position. Beginning January 1, The Advocate will have a new editor in chief. Bruce Steele is the perfect choice to run the daily triumphs and heartaches of this wondrous publication. I congratulate Bruce and his herculean team! You helped turn this important promise to myself into a reality. So I thank you as you begin your journey, carrying with you a little piece of my heart forever.
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Author:Wieder, Judy
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Date:Jan 21, 2003
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