In her own words

Janet Clayton says goodbye, and that "a cigar is just a cigar."

To my dear friends and colleagues in Metro and around the paper:

Jim and I are announcing today that I am leaving the Times soon. I know that this seems sudden, but I've been thinking about "what next" for a while. It was important to Jim and to me that none of you get this news secondhand or half-baked; thus this note now to ensure that you hear this directly. It's hard to believe in the age of spin, but as Freud supposedly said, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar---sometimes things really are what they seem. I am leaving because after 30 years of serving the high calling of daily journalism, I yearn to try something new.

For more about that cigar...

I am both excited and nervous about not knowing exactly what comes next. I appreciate that both Jim and John have tried hard to change my mind. I'm just feeling deeply that it's time for me to explore the world beyond the Los Angeles Times, where I have spent my entire adult life. I have been privileged to work with scores of you over the years, chasing stories, making sarcastic jokes, working elections all night, crafting editorials that we knew would irk a wayward politician, getting a juicy tip that leads to a blockbuster series. What a great ride!

To my Metro comrades: As many of you know, last month I had been talking with some of you about possible new beats. Don't worry---John and Sue and Steve know all about those conversations. Metro won't stand still, it never has. The reporters and editors of Metro are incredibly talented, dedicated and generous journalists. You are the heart of the paper. None of it means anything without you. I salute you. Thank you for understanding the most difficult decision of my life. It has been my great honor to be your editor.


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