A new start

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on November 30, 2009

On a Saturday in early June 1994 I graduated from Cal Poly SLO with a degree in journalism and a passion for newspapers. Two days later I started work as a reporter at the 8,000 circulation, 6-day paper The Lompoc Record. For the next 15 years, I did almost everything you can do in a newspaper newsroom. I wrote stories, took photos, copy edited stories, line edited stories, created tables, charts and graphics, designed the paper, edited the paper and the list goes on.

About the only thing I didn’t do was write editorials – I found an outlet for that itch by starting this blog more than 8 years ago.

While I was consistently annoyed by the MSM’s bias and periodic blinkered idiocy, I could take pride in the fact that the vast majority of the day-to-day journalism produced by The San Diego Union-Tribune was untainted. The vast majority of local reporting just doesn’t touch on the national political scene.

I fully expected to be found dead with my face smack down in my computer keyboard after deadline at a ripe old age – because I never really expected retire with what newspapers pay.

So, to say I was surprised that I was one of more than 190 people laid off at the Union-Tribune back in May would be an understatement. I won’t speak to the wisdom or the decision-making that I believe went on when the paper made those cuts because I signed an agreement that included a non-disparagement clause in order to get my well-deserved severance.

In the ensuing hours after being handed my pink slip, I started to reach out to anyone and everyone I could for help in getting a new job.

One of those kind enough to lend a hand was University of Tennessee law professor Glenn Reynolds, better known as the Instapundit. In the days after he posted about my sacking, I received thousands of hits here at Hoystory (known as an Instalanche) and hundreds of people looked at my resume online.

Total job offers from media outlets: 0.

Job offers from math textbook/web site companies: 1

To make a long story short: An Instapundit reader is my new boss.

Fifteen years later, I’ve moved back to San Luis Obispo and I’m the project manager for MathTV.com and XYZ Textbooks.

Do I miss the newspaper business? Far less than I thought I would.

I’m enjoying working for a small, family business where I can have a far larger impact than being one of hundreds in a newspaper newsroom.

I enjoy working normal-person hours. I enjoy having holidays off – it had been more than 15 years since I’d had a 4-day weekend at Thanksgiving and rumor has it I’ll get Christmas off too.

Most of all, I enjoy working in a less politically charged atmosphere. I like walking around an office where there aren’t any “Yes We Did” posters on cubicles or photo montages comparing former President George W. Bush to a variety of simians.

0 comments on “A new start”

  1. Hmmmmm.

    Is there anything Glenn Reynolds can't do?

    It's almost like George Carlin's old skit about the difference between praying to God and Joe Pesci. God may or may not reply, but Joe Pesci gets results.


    Good luck at your new gig!

  2. Congratulations.

    If your new boss is an Instapundit reader you are fortunate indeed. I'd bet most Instapundit readers are a unique breed; part Conservative, part Libertarian, with a dash of compassion thrown in for good measure.

  3. Congrats on your new position! In my business of real estate I'm continually amazed by the mass amount of greenbacks other agents throw at newspapers for one-time, hit-or-miss (mostly miss!) ads. Less than half the home buying and selling public will every see them anyway. I love a good newspaper in the AM like most, but for purposes of my personal business, I've got better routes for my message to get out there.

    Now if I could get Glenn Reynolds to point a few of his Iowa readers my way, I think I'd be able to retire at 60, instead of the ripe age of 86 that I'm currently planning on.

  4. Congratulations on your new job. It is really great when something bad gives birth to a new, joyful experience. I keep hoping that the scary re-ordering of our economy and country is going to re-ignite the core values of Americans and we'll be proud to be the free and independent people we once were. Your job search shows that the new economy may be more responsive, more free, and more transparent than anything we've seen in the past. Let's hope so!

  5. In a way glad to see you're gone from the U-T.

    Sorry for the chance to rant at them, but the past two stories a U-T's Metro reporter has been talking about climate change while only giving two paragraphs to the revelations of the "science" provided by University of East Anglia. That elephant keep getting bigger every day, but Mike Lee and his Editor keep doing their best to ignore it.

  6. As a 77/79 graduate of CAL POLY I am jealous that you found your way back to SLO. Good luck and God bless.

  7. Congratulations from a fellow ex-journo -- it's just fine over here on the other side, right? And you are fortunate to have your blog to continue exercising your writing skills. It's been 11 years for me, but my husband is a more recent casualty as one of the few conservatives working at the LA Times. It's difficult to find a new path but you show us hope it can be done even in tough times.

  8. "where there aren’t any “Yes We Did” posters on cubicles or photo montages comparing former President George W. Bush to a variety of simians." Obviously not a college office. Then you'd have those plus Che posters.

    Good luck.

  9. That's great. And now that you have a life and some spending money, I'm sure I won't be the first to point out that there are some serious markdowns at Amazon!


I continue to be annoyed by online media companies skimping on the copy editors.

If you disagree, we may feud over the issue.

Is it true that Adam Schiff used his official position as House Intelligence Chair to subpoena the phone records of a journalist?

#PolitiFactThis #FactCheckThis @GlennKesslerWP @ddale8 @asharock @YLindaQiu @factcheckdotorg @ReutersFacts

Sounds dangerous, right @Acosta? https://twitter.com/MarshaBlackburn/status/1618576092159410178

Sen. Marsha Blackburn @MarshaBlackburn

Adam Schiff used his official position as House Intelligence Chair to subpoena the phone records of a journalist and the top Republican on his committee.

Then he released the records to intimidate his opponents.

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