By on September 4, 2020

Today is a bittersweet day in the virtual offices that make up TTAC. Our own news chief, Steph Willems, is departing for a gig in an industry that is, I assume, somewhat less ridiculous than this one (by “ridiculous”, I mean both automotive journalism specifically and automotive in general). We wish him well.

It won’t be the same around these parts – no talk of ‘70s bloated boat sedans, no raging against the ridiculousness that pollutes Twitter. Far fewer Seinfeld and Simpsons references. Boo.

It’s hard to express what Steph means to TTAC and myself – he’s been a part of the site since well before I got hired, and his hard work has kept this place glued together, especially when I’ve been off to some shrimp-and-whiskey fueled junket somewhere. While everyone who was contributing here before I came aboard (along with some former and current employees of the corporate mothership) lent a helping hand as I got my feet wet, Steph was quite instrumental in getting me oriented to this place. This was/is my first managing editor gig, and Steph’s guidance helped immensely.

Three years later, he’s still my TTAC consigliere, and a good sounding board to bounce ideas off of. He’s talked me out of some bad ones, to be sure. And he’s rolled with corporate edicts, some of which don’t seem very TTAC-like, with tact. He’s also punched up the copy of everyone who writes here, myself included, while dealing with a cantankerous content management system. He has a keen eye for typos and errors, and he’s dealt with all of our overused phrases and recurring photo-shoot locales (ahem) with nary a complaint.

His efforts kept fresh content flowing each hour. I especially appreciate his coverage of the mornings – getting up that early to blog is a thankless task. His ability to work with Matt and our contributors to keep the grind going while I worked/work on other projects is also much appreciated.

While we’re bummed to see Steph cruise off into the sunset in his Cruze, fret not, TTAC reader. We’ll still have around 10 posts per day. We’re not going anywhere anytime soon. We’ll even be looking to bring a next top newsbot aboard.

Details on that will be announced next week. That’s the future – today is about saying sayonara to Steph. His byline may pop up from time to time, but he’s moving on from the news grind.

So do me a favor and send him off in TTAC style, with plenty of malaise-era Detroit iron, will ya?

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