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Editor's Note - From one Scott to the next

Scott Walsey fills a room as well as anyone I know. He's the natural promoter who built Creative Loafing's sales force during 26 years here.

Since the 2000 merger between Tampa's Weekly Planet and Creative Loafing Inc., Walsey has served as CL's publisher. He's the kind of publisher any editor would want: one who offers support and candid feedback but doesn't try to force his point of view.

Frankly, I was surprised Walsey stuck around this long. As a major shareholder in the old company, he cashed out nicely in the merger. And as an entrepreneur who was used to running CL's sales operation himself, I thought he'd quickly tire of the new company's more corporate culture.

In addition to serving as Atlanta's publisher, Walsey has thrived as senior vice president for sales in the company that emerged from the merger. Over the last few years, he's overseen revenue growth not only in Atlanta but also in Charlotte and Tampa — particularly impressive given the weak economy.

But now, Walsey, 55, has decided to retire. He plans to leave CL at the end of the year, after easing his replacement, Scott Patterson, into the organization.

Patterson is an experienced newspaperman. He's published dailies, community newspapers and shoppers in Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio, among other places. I think his low-key, detail-oriented style will be a good fit for a company that's a bit more tightly structured than before.

Like Walsey, Patterson will double as the company's VP for sales. On Creative Loafing's chart, publishers oversee sales and operations at each newspaper, while editors report up an independent editorial "silo." So the change won't have much of an impact on CL's editorial content.

At the same time, I gotta confess that Scott Walsey will be sorely missed. He's provided employees with leadership, stability and a great sense of humor. Besides, he's a real mensch — a wise and decent person who did things like remind folks to place family and friends above work. I'm one of those folks who had to be reminded, and like many, many others, I'll always be grateful.-- Ken Edelstein



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