A new job, an old beach haunt, a new supergroup recommendation

First off, an announcement: I’ve changed jobs — again.

I started today at Universal Health Services as Director of Content and Publications. The job is good, plus I get to ditch the Philly wage tax (saving 3.5%) and the hour-and-a-half commute for one that’s less than 30 minutes (and as little as 15 on a good day).

That is all very good, but I am pretty torn about leaving the Philadelphia Business Journal, which I really enjoyed. I liked the team of reporters, I liked the publisher, and I liked the work. It complicated things that the Editor in Chief left as I was negotiating with UHS, and there was a good chance that if I stayed I could have been the EiC there. That was very tempting, because there aren’t a lot of places where you can do good local journalism, and my short stint as managing editor had me convinced that we weren’t far from some major wins. My friend Adam heard that in my voice and got me excited about the opportunity. It almost won me over. In the end, I decided the UHS position was the bigger opportunity with the higher ceiling to have a positive impact, and most likely to provide a “third act” to my career after good runs at the newspapers in Philadelphia and Rodale’s magazines in the Lehigh Valley. We’ll see if I’m right.

In the meantime, the Business Journal has a number of openings:

(The ones that don’t have links will be waiting on the EiC to be hired, so that person has a say in filling the rest of the roles. These are good jobs. If you are interested, let me know and I can provide some guidance and a possible recommendation.)

mascot panel

Mascot madness

While I’m talking Biz Journal, I should mention that one of my last acts there was hosting a panel at the annual Business of Sports event at SugarHouse Casino. I lucked out and got the mascots discussion. As you can see from the photo, several mascots including the Flyers’ Gritty and the Eagles’ Swoop were in attendance, as well as “best friend of the Phanatic,” Tom Burgoyne, who sat in the panel. The funniest bit was when I lauded the Phanatic as the best pro sports mascot ever, and the other mascots, sitting at tables, stood up, offended, and waved me off. The event also included more substantive panels on the state of online sports betting in Pa., the new rules of selling tickets, and retired athletes’ second acts in the business world. The event is one of the things that I think the Business Journal has going for it. Modern journalism outfits need to score points via all channels — print, digital, and events. PBJ has that mix in its DNA.

Rehoboth was great

Virginia and I went to Rehoboth Beach last week after my final day at ACBJ.  We hadn’t been down there in a several years, and it was surprisingly nostalgic as we drove over the canal that separated Northern and “Slower” Delaware on the way to the beach. In Rehoboth, a lot of memories rushed back, reminding us that we had been there A LOT over the years. Still my favorite beach town. We also met a couple from DC. The husband runs a company, funded by pharma, that helps patients lobby insurers to pay for expensive treatments. He mentioned that his company hires young people — like recent graduate Kelly. We’ve been in regular correspondence since then.

25 years

Our friends Sue and Chris McKeone celebrated their 25th anniversary by renewing their vows and asked me to serve as officiant. A quick Google search turned up that in the week preceding their marriage, Jeff Bezos founded Amazon, Forrest Gump opened with a rare midweek release and a preliminary trial set the stage for the O.J. Simpson trial. I also read through Sue and Chris’ original vows, which ended with a promise to share their burdens and successes. I closed with this:

Spoiler alert: Sue and Chris have not made a lot of changes, but one word that is gone is success. And I’d suggest this: success is a young person’s word. As we grow older, and sometimes a little wiser, we might come to realize that the most important thing we can hope for in this world is to be seen, and understood, and because of that — and at times despite it — to know that we are loved. This does not require a partner, there are many people in our lives who can provide this crucial ingredient, but it is a great balm when you find a partner who provides it. That is what has always struck me about you two — the great affection and understanding between you. This is your great success. I am overjoyed to be here with you to celebrate it.

It was also a great party, at the Ledges Hotel in Hawley, Pa. Here we are with our good friends Sue and Chris (left) as well as the Harts and DeGeorges.

Other stuff

  • Even with a rash of training camp injuries, the Eagles look poised to have a great season. The offense looks as if it will be close to unstoppable. My prediction is 13-3 and the divisional title. I’ll wait and see how the season ends before I make postseason predictions.
  • The Phillies ended up being pretty top-heavy in a sport whose 162-game grind selects for teams with 25 productive big-leaguers all pitching in. I was OK with the Phils overpaying for Bryce Harper, but, as is painfully obvious, he’s merely an expensive piece and not an answer all by himself.
  • Virginia and I are 4 episodes into Stranger Things and enjoying it thoroughly. No spoilers, please. The show reminds me of how helicopter parent-less my childhood was.
  • A week after their debut at the Newport Folk Festival, I encourage everybody to give the country/Americana supergroup The Highwomen a listen. The group includes Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires, Maren Morris and Natalie Hemby (with guitar help from Shires’ husband, Jason Isbell). I like Hemby’s contribution Crowded Table as well as their cover of Fleetwood Mac’s The ChainAccording to Rolling Stone, the album, out Sept. 6, will have songs written by Isbell and Ray Lamontangue as well as covering topics from motherhood to ambition to a country-flavored gay love song. I will be at Shoalsfest (Isbell, Sheryl Crow, Mavis Staples, others) with Virginia and our friends Majid and Mary Alsayegh in early October, Shires will be there and I’m hoping against hope that the rest of the Highwomen will make it there, too.

That’s it for now. Hoping all is well with you and yours. Enjoy this last month of summer!

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