By on July 31, 2012

“And all the troubled world around us
Seems an eternity away
And all the debt collectors
Rent collectors
All will be behind us
But they’ll never find us
‘Cos we’ll be dri-i-i-i-ivin’”

-The Kinks “Drivin’”

The last time I made an announcement about my status here at TTAC, I made it clear in the headline that I was bidding the site “au revoir” rather than “adieu.” Having taken an opportunity to work in politics for a year, I was absolutely planning on returning to the fold. Unfortunately, that plan has now changed, and I have informed TTAC’s owners that today will be my last day on the site’s masthead.

With my planned yearlong sojourn over halfway complete, why would I choose to part ways with TTAC now? As with all business relationships, the answer isn’t simple. However, in hopes of avoiding the kind of speculation swirling around GM’s mysteriously-departed Chief Marketing Officer, Joel Ewanick, I’ll explain the situation as well as I can. After receiving permission from TTAC’s owners, VerticalScope, to take a year’s absence from the site, I was told that the company was interested in discussing an opportunity with me upon my return. Starting several months ago, I began discussing that opportunity with VerticalScope, and spent a not inconsiderable amount of time developing a proposal for them. After several meetings, the company informed me that my plans would not be adopted, for reasons that I had an extremely difficult time understanding. The thinking underlying the company’s decision and my experience interacting with it led me to believe that its goals and culture are incompatible with my continued professional development, which in turn led me to this decision.

On one point I want to be perfectly clear: this decision is not about TTAC, its future or its management. Though I may not see eye-to-eye with TTAC’s owners on a variety of broader issues, I give the company immense credit for its dedication to TTAC’s independence. This site’s freedom to publish what it wishes, and VerticalScope’s support for its continued growth are not in question here; my decision to leave TTAC is a personal one, based on my personal passions and ambitions. And as long as TTAC’s independence and brand values remain, I am convinced that this site will continue to grow into an ever-more crucial role in the auto media landscape.

As for myself, the picture is less clear. After my current contract expires at the end of this year, I intend to return to the automotive world in some capacity… although I currently have no specific plans for where and how that will happen. Having studied politics in college, I now find that my education at TTAC was by far the more formative experience, and I look forward to finding a new outlet for the kind of learning, growth and engagement I quite accidentally found here at TTAC. I’ve never been a “car guy” in the traditional sense, but TTAC’s readers have shown that there is a market for automotive writing that goes beyond the sheetmetal and into the laws, economics, politics and culture of the automobile. Having had the privilege of learning from some of the sharpest minds in the auto industry, both on TTAC’s masthead and in its commenter pool, I take this step into the unknown with confidence.

Of course, I owe an eternal debt to the people who have made my experience here at TTAC what it’s been. Most importantly, I must thank Robert Farago for founding this site and believing in me… without him, none of this would have been possible. I also have to thank my father, Paul Niedermeyer, both for encouraging me to start freelancing here in the first place, and providing crucial support ever since. TTAC’s current Editor-in-Chief, Bertel Schmitt, has been a true mentor to me, and for taking TTAC’s reins in his capable hands, I can not thank him enough. And all of TTAC’s amazingly talented editors and writers, especially those who believed in me when few others did, will forever hold a special place in my heart. It’s been an honor to work with each of you.

Finally, my deepest regards go out to TTAC’s commentariat, the Best and Brightest. I think every writer on this site, indeed everyone who regularly visits automotive blogs, can agree that the discourse here at TTAC is some of the finest to be found anywhere on the web. Certainly you have collectively served as the greatest teacher I have ever had. And in contrast to the kinds of discourse I’m regularly exposed to in the world of politics, I can say without hesitation that TTAC’s comment section gives me faith in this country’s ability to reason its way through problems. To those of you I’ve met and known individually, stay in touch and I hope to see you again soon. To those of you who remain my anonymous teachers and friends, thank you for your wisdom and support.

Before this gets too emotional for me, I’ll just note that I can always be found on Twitter at @Tweetermeyer. Oh, and I’ll definitely be found in the comments section here when time permits. TTAC may be losing an editor, but it’s gaining a commenter… and a fan for life.

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60 Comments on “Housekeeping: Niedermeyer Parts Ways With TTAC...”


  • avatar
    PaulVincent

    Your work will be missed; best of luck in your career.

  • avatar

    Best of luck to you Mr. Niedermeyer. I know I’m not alone in hoping we’ll see you in a commenting capacity from time to time.

  • avatar
    Nostrathomas

    I guess TTAC just didn’t meet your expectations of an employer.

    This site has missed your energy over the last while, and I’m sure a lot of us were hoping you were going to be coming back full time. Unfortunate news for us readers, but I’m sure we’ll see you pop up in some other venue sooner or later. Good luck.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m not sure I’d put it that way, but I definitely LOLed!

    • 0 avatar
      Alfasaab99

      I wouldn’t be surprised if you (Edward) pop up at Curbside Classics (CC) with Paul.
      PS; If you do go over to CC, tell Paul, the other writers, and the Cohort to give their Photo Editor some photos to touch up and/or edit.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      The last 4 years have been wild in terms of the auto industry and all things related (and much of the rest of the world, too; I’d argue those of us who have been plugged into reality recognize that the last 12 years have been wild, really, from the relative stability of the 3 decades prior).

      I’m sure this has affected the behind the scenes at TTAC and just about every other automotive publication, but that’s not my concern, nor am I interested in drama (give me anti-drama).

      I’ll just give you an Irish Blessing, Edward:

      Go n-éirí an bóthar leat.
      Go raibh an chóir ghaoithe i gcónaí leat.
      Go dtaitní an ghrian go bog bláth ar do chlár éadain,
      go gcuire an bháisteach go bog mín ar do ghoirt.
      Agus go gcasfar le chéile sinn arís,
      go gcoinní Dia i mbosa a láimhe thú.

  • avatar

    I always enjoyed your perspective and sharp insights, Ed. Best of luck to you.

  • avatar
    crm114

    Good luck.

  • avatar
    Contrarian

    Adios, and keep fighting the good fight.

  • avatar

    Thank you, Ed.

    You have my number, and I have yours.

    • 0 avatar

      No, thank you! Your and Derek’s able leadership (not to mention the incredible talent of our other editor/contributors) leave me in no doubt of TTAC’s continued success.

      And yeah, I’m guessing we’ll manage to stay in touch somehow… ;)

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      Bertel, while I had hoped Ed would return in some official capacity, I still think your leadership here has been excellent, and I continue to enjoy the site as it has evolved.

      Ed – Best of health, fortune, and happiness to you. Don’t be scarce.

      Bertel – Keep up the good work.

  • avatar
    Autobraz

    See how it’s done, GM? Not that hard eh?

  • avatar

    Sorry to see you won’t be coming back as Editor-in-Chief, Ed. This site will miss you. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you over the years and enjoyed our all-too-brief interactions at various events. Best of luck to you in your future endeavors – I look forward to seeing you pop up again elsewhere.

  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    Good luck to you, Ed. I always enjoyed the articles you and your dad penned, as well as your appearances on TV. You’ve got a lot going for yourself. Make the most of it!

    I wish you all the best.

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      I’ve seen your TV work as well as read some of the articles you have written for other publications, and your work and analysis has been very good.

      Ed, does the Wall Street Journal know you are available? Your resume should at least get you a meeting, and since their automotive coverage has been very weak for quite a while they could definitely use your talents.

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    I miss your monthly analyses of sales numbers, separated by class. Remember those recurring arguments about what vehicle belong to what class? (The Impala is fullsize, dammit!)

    How about doing the July analysis–Just once more for ol’ times’ sake?

  • avatar
    brettc

    So just to be clear, Dan Akerson and soccer/football doesn’t have anything to do with your sudden departure? :)

    You will be missed on here but I understand if you and your employer no longer enjoy each other’s company. I’m headed to a new job in a few weeks as well because of a company enjoyment problem. I’m supposed to have more stuff to do there but I hope to still be able to wile away at least part of my day on TTAC. (can’t break an 8 year streak when it comes to wiling away my day!)

    Good luck with whatever you end up doing.

  • avatar
    jeoff

    Good luck.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    Good luck, Ed. You are a talented young man and I am sure you will do well.

  • avatar

    darn.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Good Luck. Politico is available at every big metro station/bus atop and don’t live in DC proper. Politics is an enticing potion.

  • avatar
    Pig_Iron

    So long Ed, thanks for all the interesting articles. All the best.

  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    And here I was looking forward to your return. To use the vernacular of the youth: “I haz a sad.”

    Thank you very much for your contributions to this site. As stated earlier, TTAC isn’t losing a columnist; the B&B are gaining a commenter.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    Don’t consider this a good bye, a good morning, or even a good evening.

    It’s just… awesome to have enjoyed your thoughts here on this site.

    My phone, as Bertel puts it, is surgically attached to my ear. Feel free to call me anytime.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Not intended as a negative comment on the current management or editorial staff of the site . . . but you will be missed.

    Sorry that your discussions with VerticalScope did not work out.

    Best of luck in everything that you do!

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    Fare thee well. This site is definitely the best, and I hate to see any part of it go. :(

  • avatar
    FleetofWheel

    Ed pulled the sword out of the stone after Robert Farago rode off to another valley.

    Then Ed impressed everyone with the quantity of high quality analysis and writing he was able to sustain.

  • avatar
    jpcavanaugh

    I enjoyed your work and will miss seeing it. Best of luck.

  • avatar
    Dubbed

    I am going to miss the sandal wearing cute guy;-) I wish you the best in all your future endeavors.

  • avatar
    DubTee1480

    Best of luck Ed, you’ll be missed

  • avatar
    Alex L. Dykes

    Ed, you truly have been our fearless leader. You will be missed more than you know. I look forward to your next adventure!

  • avatar
    Bimmer

    Thank you for all of your work at TTAC, Ed!

    Good luck in your new adventure!

  • avatar

    Ed:

    Very sorry to read this. I know your work will appear somewhere soon, and I’ll be an avid reader.

    VerticalScope: There’s a chapter of Success 101 called
    “retaining talented people”.

  • avatar
    Virgil Hilts

    Ed: Sorry we missed each other and best of luck in the future.

    I have long planned my first question to you on the day Bertel lets me out of the cooler and allows me to speak to the editors:

    Ed, you are from Oregon and your name is Niedemeyer. Are you related to Douglas C. Niedemeyer from Faber College?

    Again, good luck and thanks!

  • avatar
    Detroit-X

    Thanks for the memories, and happy trails. Check into TTAC once in a while and tell us how you’re doing.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Ed,

    Thanks for all you’ve done to continue to improve this site and make it THE place for automotive candor.

    Best success in your future endeavors!

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Good luck.

  • avatar
    johnny ringo

    Ed-Thanks for all of your great articles and your insight–I will miss you but I wish you great success in your future endeavors.

  • avatar
    ajla

    You always seemed like a good guy and taking over after RF was a tough gig.

    Good luck.

  • avatar

    Godspeed, oh shaven one.

    After RF departed, You near-singlehandedly bench-pressed an awkwardly-dervishing-elephant-gangbang; -and made it look easy.

    I have no doubt you will land on your feet.

    Fair winds and following seas, bro.

    +@Followed.

    Cheers+Best,
    -W

  • avatar

    I hope you write about cars! That’s really just my biggest hope.

    Not that I think you’d be bad at writing about anything else, or boring, but I probably wouldn’t read it, like I don’t read The Truth About Guns, though I tried.

    I don’t remember any specific article or series you did for TTAC, but they were always a priority. I always read them. I don’t even remember when you started, but I’m sure there’s megabytes of great, great material for every big subject for cars in the last five years indexed, and sales analyses. Writing that made you smarter. Writing that will be read again!

    GREAT WORK ED

  • avatar
    Dimwit

    Damn! *Sigh*

    Good luck and have fun on your next endeavour!

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Shucks! Just when I thought things were safe around here…

    Ed, I wish you all the best, and yes – don’t be a stranger!

    I have been a commenter for two years now, and have learned much and that learning continues. I thank you and everyone for such a great auto website, along with “CC”, of course.

    Best wishes on your new opportunities!

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    What a shame; your input was valued by most and you are a great loss. I just don’t understand when companies allow obvious quality to disappear. They say all are replaceable, which may be true. But some are more replaceable than others….good luck; you will be missed.

  • avatar
    MBella

    Good luck Ed. I was hoping for your return at the end of the year but what can you do. Don’t be a stranger when you find yourself in Detroit again.

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    Thanks for everything mate! You will be missed, as is the founder of this place, at least by me.

    I guess the quality of the discussion here has a lot to do with the policies governing the site, which started with RF and most importantly, have been continued by you and now Bertel and hopefully by whoever takes the wheel after him.

    I wish you success on your new adventures. And keep up the good work mate!

  • avatar
    Zarba

    Godspeed, Good Sir.

  • avatar

    Ed,

    RF made the right decision picking you to run the site when he left. I’ve missed your contributions and your voice in this subject. While this may not have been your primary passion, you approached it with a level of professionalism that many people twice your age have yet to achieve (no, Bertel, that wasn’t directed at you. Sit back down please)

    I’m a fan of your work now ad I’m sure I will be in the future as well. I’m looking forward to seeing your work again.

    Take care, and give my home town a hug for me.

  • avatar

    Oh man, this thread is making me all verklempt. Get back to talking about cars, ya knuckleheads… before I start pounding the bourbon and remembering all the good, bad, and just plain crazy times.

  • avatar
    supremebrougham

    Yup, you’re going to be missed!

    I hope you will at least make an appearance at your dad’s place from time to time. If was willing to make room for me as a storyteller there, I know he’ll make room for you!

    -Richard

  • avatar
    Mark_Miata

    I very much enjoyed meeting you and your dad in Portland at the TTAC meet-up. Best of luck with your future career – I’m sure you’ll find something that will suit you.

  • avatar
    Robert Gordon

    Sad to see you go Ed, this site is a poor place without you…

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    Good luck, Ed. Your work was greatly appreciated. I’m sure your talent will lead you to a new rewarding phase of your career.

  • avatar
    SupaMan

    Sad to see you go Ed. Good luck and all the best in your future endeavors.

  • avatar
    WildcatMatt

    Best wishes and good luck!

    (I will suppress my gallows humor and not quote Animal House.)


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