OLD Media Moves

Charlotte biz columnist to retire

May 17, 2009

Doug Smith, a business columnist for the Charlotte Observer during the past 19 years, plans to retire on June 5 after 42 years at the paper.

He will be replaced by Kerry Hall, who joined the paper in 2002.

Smith writes, “The memories range from covering a fire and seeing a mother weep as rescuers carried from her burning house two tiny lumps – her toddlers – under a white sheet; searching for the legendary ‘Sally’s ghost’ under a bridge in west Mecklenburg; seeing Nancy Reagan’s face when they seated me next to her by mistake at a presidential debate, and hearing Johnny Harris describe his vision of Ballantyne when the south Mecklenburg site was still undeveloped.

“During most of this decade I’ve covered the phenomenal rush of homeowners back to the urban core, the rise of edge cities at Interstate 485 interchanges, the shift toward mixing office, retail and residential buildings on the same site and the developmental impact of light rail on south Charlotte.

“I captured much of that change in my Next Big Thing column, which was put on hold this year as recession slammed the real-estate industry.”

Read more here.

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