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Goodbye and Thank You

Our ride together comes to a close on Tuesday; it's been my pleasure for all 1,178 days.

On Tuesday, I will serve my 1,178th day as the regional editor for Patch in the St. Louis metro area. It also will be my last. Along with my remaining colleagues, we will part ways with a company that we loved.

Here's why we loved it: Every single day we did our jobs, we received immediate and personal feedback from Patch users who let us know they appreciated what we were doing. People would see the Patch sticker on my laptop at Starbucks and stop to ask me about it, because they subscribed to their local Patch newsletter and loved it.

I met readers at local events such as the Clayton Art Fair or the Wildwood BBQ Bash who could describe Patch to their friends better than I could — and why they should be reading it. Even the people who complained about the mistakes (and sure, we made a few) cared enough to say something because they appreciated what we were trying to do.

And what was that? What were we trying to do? For me, it was very simple: We were trying to make this place even more livable by helping you connect to your local community. What was that noise down the street? What's going to replace the long-closed Dairy Queen on the corner? Why is the city council restricting parking? Can someone help me find my dog?

We did it by reporting on breaking news and local events, of course, but we also did it by helping you find information from other sources that affected your lives close to home. We did it by giving you tools to contribute directly to the site.

On Aug. 16, we learned Patch would be laying off a substantial number of its staff and that the St. Louis team, including me, would be gone by Oct. 15. As I write this, the word is that the existing St. Louis Patch sites will stay alive, available for readers to share their own blogs, events and bulletin board updates -- as well as to refer to the three years worth of content we produced. The reasons for the staff layoffs are not important to me at this point, and it's not my place to speculate on them. I prefer to focus on what I loved about Patch.

I loved this job in large measure because it felt like you loved us. I also loved it because I served with the most talented, dedicated, generous and team-oriented group I have ever known.

In my 1,178 days at Patch, 54 souls have passed through St. Louis' Patch team. Nowhere near that many served on the job at the same time. Some stayed only a few days before deciding it wasn't for them. Some were involved in sales; most handled the news and information on our 24 Patch sites.

I am thankful for all of their contributions, this team that served you with hard work and constant dedication: Holly, Maggie, Tamara, Joe, Jordan, Kalen, Candace, Aja, Nate, Myra, Jim, Rob, Gregg, Joe, Rachel, Gabrielle, Chase, Julie, Owen, Andrew, Alyssa, Jean, Dan, Michael, Tim, Ryan, Sarah, Karlie, Alan, Jeff, Tera, Marcia, Shannon, Angela, Sheri, Brittany, Lindsay, Doug, Bryanna, Frank, Doug, Brian, Brian, ChrisAnn, Sharon, Michael, Dominic, Erin, Courtney, Rebecca, Jason and Jeremy.
 
Among the 54 souls who have been able to call themselves Patchers here, I'm the only one left who was here to see the start of Patch in the region. And while I won't go on with Patch, Patch will go on without me in other parts of the country. I wish for the best to all my fellow Patchers nationwide. May you go on to make this a success and prove the naysayers wrong.

And for my friends, dedicated readers and colleagues, I just want to say thank you.
Julie Northrip October 13, 2013 at 08:39 AM
I am so sorry to hear that the editors of Patch will be gone. I'm sorry for all of us who enjoy reading your articles and sorry for the employees and their families on the loss of your positions. Thanks to all of you and I wish you luck in finding another rewarding and interesting job.
Lorraine Evans October 13, 2013 at 09:19 AM
I enjoyed reading the news I subscribe to 3 different patches I used to live in the Chesterfield area, so I liked keeping up with the news
Jodi Redler October 13, 2013 at 10:43 AM
So no ore breaking news telling what's going on down the street? That's sad--I open the email you send me everyday and will miss it. Good luck to you--hope you land somewhere good.
Mark Maley October 13, 2013 at 10:57 AM
Well said, Kurt. Thanks all you've done these last three years!
Nancy Bengtson October 13, 2013 at 11:56 AM
I will miss the Patch! I too read 3 cities news and was most often the source for reliable local news. Hate to see it leave!
P.LW. October 13, 2013 at 12:08 PM
Thank you for keeping us informed for the last three years. You've all done a great job and will be missed. Good luck in whatever you the future holds.
Sarah Flagg October 13, 2013 at 06:09 PM
Thanks, Kurt. It's been one crazy ride and I'm so grateful you chose me to throw french fries from the back seat.
Cindi Lash October 13, 2013 at 06:31 PM
Amen, Kurt. Thank you for being such a great journalist, colleague, friend and neighbor.
Ann Cerame October 13, 2013 at 07:01 PM
Oh!! I am so sorry. You were insightful and informative. Thank you!!
Kurt Greenbaum October 13, 2013 at 09:32 PM
I'm so grateful for your kind words. It's been a difficult couple of months knowing this day was coming...and it's hard to believe it's here.
Rachel Damgen October 13, 2013 at 09:38 PM
The best first job I could have had. I'm sorry to see this day. Thanks for taking a chance on me and letting me play a part in the crazy ride!
Mike T. October 14, 2013 at 08:26 AM
I'm going to miss you guys and appreciate what you've produced. Tho I'm a relatively late comer, only learned of Patch a few months ago, it has become a part of my daily life. Good luck with your future endeavors!
Chesterfield Arts October 14, 2013 at 11:06 AM
Kurt, thanks for all the coverage of the arts in West St. Louis County. Small arts organizations really appreciate any publicity we can get in this challenging economic climate. All the best to you and yours. Can you tell us which Patch to submit news and info to moving forward? Thanks again for all your hard work from a devotee to Chesterfield Patch! --Kim Furlow
Marcia Rombach October 14, 2013 at 11:11 AM
This is terrible! I love The Patch! You guys did a terrific job and really are about my only link to the news.
Thomas Von Krois October 14, 2013 at 11:49 AM
One of the last forms of honest journalism is now gone. Now the citizens of Chesterfield and every other town wilk be in the dark as to what changes and new laws their town council create.
Dana Diaz de Leon October 14, 2013 at 01:08 PM
So sad to see this. I've been a follower for a while and I love this forum! So informative, friendly and easy to use. It makes me feel more connected to what is really going on around here. I appreciate you and all those associated with the West County area staff. Thanks for everything and best of luck to your futures!
Jean October 14, 2013 at 02:56 PM
Ditto all the above. I read the Patch everyday and will really miss it. I don't know the why's of it's leaving but hope eventually something will open up to take it's place.

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