Though his new office is only two floors above the San Diego Union-Tribune 's newsroom, retiring Editor Gerald Warren has promised himself not to wander down to the editorial meetings on the third floor.
But it's not easy.
"I don't know how you can't miss it after 20 years," says Warren, 64.
Warren began at the Union in 1956 as an editorial trainee, rising to assistant managing editor before leaving in 1969 to become deputy press secretary to both Nixon and Ford. Emerging from Watergate unscathed, he returned to San Diego in 1975 as editor.
After seeing the Union through two decades that included the 1992 merger with the evening Tribune, Warren is easing into retirement, serving as assistant to Publisher Helen K. Copley until his official retirement on his 65th birthday in August, when he becomes editor-at-large. He also plans to continue to appear as a guest commentator on PBS ' "MacNeil/-Lehrer NewsHour."
"I want to stay busy," he says, so he's already made plans to come back to the paper after a nine-month sabbatical on a Virginia horse farm later this year. Upon his return, Warren will serve as a consultant when San Diego hosts the Republican National Convention.
Warren turns his responsibilities over to Karin Winner , the first female editor of the 385,000-circulation daily and one of a handful of women heading a metropolitan paper.
"Jerry hired me 19 years ago," says Winner, 49. "I'm going to miss him and I intend to continue to get his counsel."
Winner brings her own legacy to the paper as the great-granddaughter of Col. Milton McRae , one of the founders of what is now Scripps Howard Newspapers.
"I have ink in my veins," she says.