This time tomorrow I will be on an airplane, and for the first time in quite a while I will not be on my to some auto-related destination on behalf of TTAC. That’s right, I’m actually taking a vacation, which I will spend introducing my lovely life partner to the European continent and visiting family in my ancestral homeland of Austria. Of course, TTAC has become such a big part of my life that even my vacation will have a work-related angle: I’ll be spending each week with a different not-available-in-America car that I think should be of some considerable interest to you, our readers. But this is also just the first of two breaks that I’ll be taking from TTAC: in January, I’ll be stepping down as TTAC’s Editor-in-Chief for the calendar year 2012, to pursue a one-year opportunity outside of the field of automotive journalism. Even as I write those words, I can scarcely believe them… I’ve lived and breathed TTAC for so long now, it’s almost impossible to imagine life without it. But do not fear: not only do I leave TTAC in incredibly capable hands, I’m also not gone for good. You won’t be rid of me that easily.
The opportunity that I will be pursuing over the course of 2012 happened upon me suddenly, when an old friend called and asked for my help. His business, in the field of online political fundraising, has been booming, and he asked if I could step in and help manage its growth and bring my writing/editing experience to bear. I had no desire to leave TTAC, which I still consider my dream job, but the chance to work with an old friend, and do something entirely different for a year was too much to ignore. I had no doubt that TTAC’s team could continue our strong momentum without me, and when our owners at VerticalScope gave me the OK to step down for a year, I felt compelled to make the leap. I am not looking to leave TTAC or the auto media behind for the world of politics, and I certainly have no ideological motivations for doing what I’m doing… the simple fact is that I’m a challenge junkie, and the opportunity to throw myself into an entirely new world and a new set of challenges for a year is just too tempting.
But even so, I can’t bring myself to completely tear myself away from this amazing community, even for just one year. I will remain on TTAC’s masthead as Editor-at-Large, I’ll remain involved in the site’s management and editorial direction, and I’ll even contribute from time to time, as my schedule permits. Stepping into the Editor-in-Chief role will be my trusted right-hand-man and mentor, current Managing Editor Bertel Schmitt. From his home base in Tokyo, Bertel will be managing TTAC’s incredible team of contributors, who will also be stepping up to carry some of the slack. I’m also proud to announce that Derek Kreindler will be moving over from Autoguide to become TTAC’s new News Editor. Under Bertel’s leadership and with the addition of Derek’s dynamic talents, TTAC’s team will be stronger than ever, and I have every confidence that 2012 will see continued excellence and growth here at TTAC. I promise, you’ll hardly miss me. If, for some strange reason, you do want to follow my adventures over the next year, I finally broke down and did what I said I never would: I signed up for a personal Twitter account. Henceforth, you can find me under the handle “@tweetermeyer,” although I can’t promise that it will actually be worth following.
I’ll forgo the the usual litany of thanks and acknowledgments here, not because I’m not grateful for everyone who makes TTAC possible, but because I can hardly thank or acknowledge any one person involved with this site without thanking them all. One of my main goals as TTAC’s Editor-in-Chief was to ensure that this site and this brand became bigger than any one person, and our success here really has been a collaboration between tens of thousands of people. From our staff to our commenter base, TTAC occupies an exemplary niche in the automotive media because of our shared commitment to excellence, and I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve all been able to accomplish here. So my heartfelt thanks to everyone who has ever been a part of making TTAC what it is today. Keep the faith and TTAC’s future will be eternally bright.