Not Goodbye, Just Au Revoir
Today marks my final day as Managing Editor of The Truth About Cars. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that when I forwarded a snarky letter I'd written to Car and Driver complaining about their lack of editorial direction to some guy at a web site I'd just discovered, it would lead to this. It's been a wild roller coaster of a ride, occasionally aggravating, usually entertaining and always educational – but never boring. I'm going to miss it. A lot.
The decision to leave TTAC didn't come easily. In fact it took an offer of considerably more money and some pretty sweet benefits to pull me away. (OK, so I'm a sellout.) I won't be writing a lot or working in an automotive-related field, so I'll have some adjustments to make. By far, the biggest will be going through Farago withdrawal.
I can't say enough good things about Robert Farago. Yeah, he can be stubborn, opinionated, hard to get along with and a real pain in the ass at times, but he's also one of the best persons I've ever had the honor of working with. You'll never find anyone as dedicated to anything as he is to this site. Nothing gets published that he hasn't read and approved (and usually tweaked at least a little). And yes, he really does read every single comment. Robert Farago is TTAC.
Robert liked the snotty letter I sent C/D and asked me to write something for the site. When I finally realized he was serious, I submitted my first article. I didn't think it was very good but he saw something in it, worked the Farago magic on it, published it, then asked for more. I was hooked and he knew it.
As the site grew, he approached me about being the part-time Managing Editor. I thought he'd lost his mind, but I agreed to give it a try. Then when the State of Georgia [s]did me a favor[/s] freed me to pursue other opportunities by abolishing my position, he offered me the chance to do it on a full-time basis. My momma mighta raised an ugly child, but she didn't raise no stupid one. I jumped at the chance.
I think almost every pistonhead has a secret fantasy of being an automotive writer. I've been lucky enough to live that fantasy. And because of Robert and TTAC, I've had the chance to rub elbows with journalistic giants like Stephan Wilkinson and Brock Yates. I've also worked with some of the best writers on the web. Guys (and gal) I'm going to miss all of you. It's been a genuine pleasure. And thank you, Robert for believing in me and giving me the chance of a lifetime.
To our readers all around the world, a big word of thanks. This site wouldn't be what it is today without you. I can't count the number of times Robert and I have gotten emails expressing wonder at the quality of comments and the depth of discussion found here. And they were spot-on. You won't find another site in the blogosphere with the brilliant readers and civil discourse you'll find here.
I know TTAC will go on without me and do just fine. Justin will keep things flowing smoothly and the site will continue to grow. Hopefully some of the changes Robert's visualizing for the future will come to fruition. If so, the TTAC experience will only get better for everyone.
Yes, I'm going to miss all of this. But don't think you're getting rid of me that easily! I'll still be lurking in the shadows, making pithy comments occasionally and calling bullshit when necessary. I'll also continue doing the "By the Numbers" and inventory/sales per dealer editorials every month and working with the Ten Worst and Ten Best Auto awards. Basically, if it's a job for a spreadsheet monkey or involves a poll, I'll most likely be involved somehow.
You'll also see a review from me from time to time, so don't be surprised when you see my byline pop up. I'll no longer be here on a daily basis but I'll still be around. TTAC's like a drug — easy to get hooked on and tough to walk away from, and I'll still have to have my regular fix. So until I see you again, take care, drive smart and keep on tellin' the truth!
Edgett on Sep 02, 2008
Frank - I think all of us have immensely enjoyed your presence here, so I hope your new duties allow you to stop in occasionally, if only as one of the many posters. I'm sure that Mr. Farago will continue to produce the best auto-content on the web, but we'll certainly miss your slant on things. Very best of luck in your new endeavor; it's always nice to get a raise and be appreciated for what you do.
Revver on Sep 02, 2008
Frank, congratulations, but sorry to see you go. I'll confess to not being as tuned in to the names associated with TTAC, but I consider it a must-read for anyone interested in the car biz. There is an undeniable grin I get every time I visit here. Ironically (perhaps not) this was once the core value of C&D. One thing that is worth mentioning, is that beyond the nice letters seen here, one of the legacies of yours and Robert's work, is that the obviously bright (and sometimes snotty) responses to every story, make for a wonderful reading experience. The quality of readers you attract, who become part of the fabric of each article, makes the old dynamic of print media seem dead, dead, dead. When the blog model works it's a beautiful thing. And baby, this blog is work'n.
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