How Doug Fruehling made the Washington Biz Journal great
Vandana Sinha, the managing editor of the Washington Business Journal, writes about departing editor in chief Doug Fruehling, who is leaving to become editor in chief of the San Francisco Business Journal.
Sinha writes, “He’s as tough as he is kind. He’s as bitingly sarcastic as he is quietly vulnerable. He’s as reactive as he is measured. He’s the guy in the meeting who stops discussion to question the conventional path. He’s the editor on a story who can pinpoint an invisible hole. With a brain as sharp as his pencil points, he asks the piercing questions, but isn’t afraid to admit when he doesn’t have the answers. He doesn’t suffer fools but, when necessary, can have the patience of a preschool teacher.
“He’s maddeningly good at what he does. Doug can rattle off eight ideas in eight minutes for the WBJ’s next panel discussion or cover story and then complain he’s lacking creativity. He can recall a project’s decade-old background or building’s architectural history and then bemoan he’s losing his memory. He’s painfully clear when he’s disapproving — though, that’s also what makes his praise so priceless. He means it.
“One constant among all of those contradictions: his exceedingly, unequivocally, soul-laceratingly high level of expectations, for everyone and everything, including and most often himself. If he had The Dreaded Look to let you know you missed something — God help you if you get the ‘Ummmm…’ and long pause after he’s looked over your work — he has the unaffected chuckle to make you feel like you said the funniest thing in the world.”
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