OLD Media Moves

Times Telegram biz reporter Thompson retires after 40 years

December 1, 2021

Posted by Mariam Ahmed

Donna Thompson

Times Telegram (Utica, New York) government and business reporter Donna Thompson sent out the following excerpt note:

A few weeks ago, I emailed one of the hardest letters I’ve ever written. I announced my plans to retire from the Times Telegram at the end of November.

Forty years ago this month, I walked into what was then The Evening Telegram office on Green Street in Herkimer to begin my first day as a full-time reporter. It wasn’t my first time in the office; I’d been serving as a correspondent, or stringer, covering events in the Little Falls area for a year or more.

I covered meetings, fires, news conferences and parades, interviewed people, took photographs, typed obituaries and probably drove my family crazy when I began planning our vacations around attractions I thought would make good photo features.

I shifted to an editor’s position for a few years and learned to lay out pages. There were layoffs and the staff grew smaller. The press was idled as the printing was outsourced, and I moved back to a reporter’s position.

As I move forward, I likely won’t miss my early morning alarm or the frustration of trying to squeeze indoor and outdoor chores into evenings and weekends, but I will miss the energy a newsroom – even a virtual one – can generate and the satisfaction of finally pulling together a story. Most of all, I’ll miss the people – contacts and co-workers, past and present.

I’m not sure what the future will look like – more writing is certainly a possibility – but for now I just want to say thank you for an amazing 40 years and goodbye.

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