Bye bye, Business Times. Hello, CWU!

By the time you read this, I will have already packed up my desk and departed the Business Times. It’s been a fun three-year run, but, as they say, all good things must come to an end.

I’ll still be involved with the newspaper on a limited basis until my replacement takes over later this month, but I’m expecting all things Business Times to be in my rearview mirror by August 1.

After spending the past 18 years in journalism, I’ll be starting my new job a Public Affairs writer at Central Washington University on July 16. The timing feels right for me to make a career change, so that’s what I’m doing. You never know what’s out there if you don’t try, I suppose.

Driving to Ellensburg every day isn’t ideal, but my family doesn’t want to move right before a new school year. I’m pretty content here, too, so we’ll make the best of a new situation. Ask me in a few months what I think about driving to Ellensburg every day (Manastash in the winter, anyone?). But I’ve been in need of a new challenge for a while, so making a big move feels like the right thing to do.

You’ll still be seeing my bylines around the Valley as I continue to write sports stories for two monthly papers, the Selah Journal and Toppenish Review-Independent. I’ll also keep writing agriculture stories about our neighbors for the Capital Press in Oregon. I may even contribute a story or two to the Business Times, but that seems less likely.

What is likely, however, is that I’ll be much more involved in local high school sports coverage over the next couple of years. I’ve been working on a community sports website called the Yakima Valley Sports Network, and with any luck, I’ll be launching it this fall.

It’s mostly a hobby at this point, but I could see the concept really taking off. If I can get enough readers to support it, the site may eventually create some business opportunities. But for now, it’s just going to be a casual, community-focused sports resource for about a dozen local high schools.

Be on the lookout this summer for some social media promotions about the Yakima Valley Sports Network. In the meantime, I hope you keep supporting the Business Times. It’s a pretty cool paper, if I say so myself, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to steer the ship for the past three years.

Hope to see you around town — and look for me on the sidelines this fall. Feel free to drop me a line at lederdave@gmail.com.

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