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Seemingly Tearful Goodbye From the Post-Dispatch's Departing Managing Editor

Pam Maples, managing editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, announced late Friday that she'll be punching the clock at 900 North Tucker Boulevard for the last time on August 18 -- a big surprise to the newsroom's rank-and-file, according to folks who spoke to The Daily RFT.

Executive editor Arnie Robbins told the staff he will not be replacing Maples. (Robbins held the ME job himself at one time, though the post was vacant for about a year when he left it to become editor.)

Maples' farewell e-mail, as well as one from Robbins (which we'll put up later today or tomorrow), have the newsroom gossiping about the reason for her sudden departure. "It's entirely a head-scratcher," as one reporter put it.

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Maples says in the note that she doesn't yet have a new gig lined up. She also references the blows the paper has suffered in the last year, specifically several rounds of layoffs in which Maples personally had to show numerous staffers the door.  

See the e-mail after the jump. Watch for more on this. 
Well, this is going to surprise a lot of you (OK, maybe all of you), but I haven't found the words that adequately express what these three years have meant to me. I'll just give it my best.

You have impressed and challenged me with your commitment to this newspaper, to our journalism - no matter the platform - and to this community. Through waves of tremendous change and upheaval - sometimes exciting, sometimes scary - you have been firm and passionate about our journalism. When I think of all of the new things we've tried together - some to great success, others not so much, but worthwhile experiments nonetheless - I am struck by the courage and creativity many of you have shown. I have seen you do things I would not have imagined two years ago.

I can't say that I've loved every minute of my time here. In the face of economic realities, we've had to make some tough decisions and say goodbye to many talented colleagues. In each dark time, I was moved by your compassion for each other and, frankly, for those of us responsible for making the decisions.

Now, I've decided it's time for me, personally, to embrace change. Sometimes, it's just time to do something new. I'm not sure what's next, but I'm eager to explore some new ideas and avenues and it's likely those will involve journalism in some form. I am very fortunate to have worked with all of you, including a great group of senior newsroom leaders as well as some colleagues in other divisions who are passionate about supporting our journalism.

And then there is Arnie. My first week here, I discovered he doesn't like long meetings. My second week, that he shares my intense aversion to snakes. I knew we were going to get along just fine. It turns out, working with Arnie has been way way better than just fine. Don't be fooled by that just-a-guy-from-Cleveland-who-loves-the-Indians act. Arnie is one of the wisest people I know and his commitment to this newsroom is remarkable. You are very lucky to have him as your editor.

Thank you again for an amazing three years. I am so proud of all that we have accomplished and I'm confident you will continue to do the very best and most meaningful journalism in this region. I will miss you, but I'll just be a phone call or email away.

Pam


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