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From AJR,   February/March 2007  issue

Moving On   


By Evelyn Richards & Margaret Steen
      Evelyn Richards (evrichards@aol.com) and Margaret Steen (msteen@newsguy.com) are Mercury News alumni who are freelancing and working in education.     

Jim Braly
Age at buyout: 54
Years at a daily newspaper: 30, including 22 at the Mercury News
Last job at Mercury News: copy editor
Moving on: After moving to Portland and considering several possible careers, Braly took a four-day-a-week job as a copy editor at the Oregonian. Reinventing yourself, he discovered, is not as easy as it sounds.

Mark Gladstone
Age at buyout: 57
Years at a daily newspaper: 33, including five-and-a-half at the Mercury News
Last job at Mercury News: Sacramento bureau chief
Moving on: Gladstone accepted the buyout and left the paper a few weeks before the deadline so he could start a new job as a principal consultant with the California Senate Office of Research. Although it took time to adjust to his new role, he enjoys taking a more active part in public policy.

Pat Lopes Harris
Age at buyout: 36
Years at a daily newspaper: Five, all at the Mercury News
Last job at Mercury News: metro reporter
Moving on: When Harris left, she was contemplating a career change to teaching, communications for a nonprofit or freelance writing. A few months later, she took a job as a media relations officer with San Jose State University. The more predictable hours make her family life easier, and she likes working for a university.

Seth Hemmelgarn
Age at buyout: 33
Years at a daily newspaper: Seven, all at the Mercury News
Last job at Mercury News: copy editor
Moving on: Hemmelgarn left to take a job as a manager at a drug and alcohol treatment facility while he continued taking courses to become a drug and alcohol counselor. He loved his new job but decided after a year that it was time to look for a new challenge.

Guy Lasnier
Age at buyout: 51
Years at a daily newspaper: 23, including 11 at the Mercury News
Last job at Mercury News: deputy national and foreign editor
Moving on: When the buyouts were an-nounced, Lasnier had already applied for a public affairs job in the chancellor's office at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He accepted the position, although his application for the buyout package was denied. He misses being part of the newsroom, and it took several months before he felt comfortable in his new job and began to enjoy it.

Eugene Louie
Age at buyout: 52
Years at a daily newspaper: 26, including almost 24 at the Mercury News
Last job at Mercury News: photographer
Moving on: Louie has taken classes toward getting certified as a radiology technician, which he thought could pay the bills while he pursued landscape photography. But now he's not sure what he wants to do. He may make freelance photography his focus.

Glenda Queensbury
Age at buyout: 46
Years at a daily newspaper: 14, all at the Mercury News
Last job at Mercury News: data analyst
Moving on: Queensbury had gotten her real-estate license a few years before she left the paper, and when she accepted the buyout she took up real estate full time. She enjoys having more control over her schedule.

Michael Zielenziger
Age at buyout: 50
Years at a daily newspaper: 31, including 21 at the Mercury News
Last job at Mercury News: Tokyo bureau chief (before his book leave)
Moving on: Zielenziger got a book about Japan published and spent the fall on a book tour. He's trying to figure out his next step. He is a visiting scholar at the Institute of International Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and has done freelancing and consulting.

Evelyn Richards
Age at buyout: 53
Years at a daily newspaper: 30, including about 15 during two stints at the Mercury News
Last job at Mercury News: assistant editor of Perspective section
Moving on: Richards wants to find a new career in education, helping children improve their writing, but calls her transition "a work in progress." She also has done freelance writing.

Margaret Steen
Age at buyout: 35
Years at a daily newspaper: Almost six, all at the Mercury News
Last job at Mercury News: business reporter
Moving on: Steen left to see if freelance writing would offer her more flexibility, given that her children were approaching school age, and it has. She also teaches writing courses for adult-education programs.