A fond farewell: Doreen Christensen Announces Retirement from the Sentinel

I didn’t format this – it is in today’s Sun Sentinel. Doreen will forever be missed from the paper’s pages. ☹

A fond farewell: Doreen Christensen Announces Retirement from the Sentinel


2/2/2020 Sun Sentinel – Broward enewspaper.sun-sentinel.com/html5/desktop/production/default.aspx?edid=544d6cc0-3522-4315-b079-bcadba100773 1/2

A fond farewell

Friday was my last day at the Sun Sentinel.

After 40 years, I’ve decided to hang up my press pass, pica pole and proportion wheel and retire from this wonderful newspaper. The company made an offer I can’t refuse. I’m ready for a bit of rest and more travel with my husband, Dan. I’ve had many different jobs here, from editing the TV Book to laying out news and features sections on the copy desk. But digging up more than 3,500 Doreen’s Deals and saving you money these past 10 years has been by far the most satisfying. I will miss writing for you. Many newsies say ink runs in their veins. I’ll go a step further. It’s intertwined in our DNA. This newspaper — every newspaper — lives, breathes and has a heartbeat. I love the Sun Sentinel like it’s a member of my own family because I’ve spent nearly three quarters of my life growing into a career. This has been my only job. I’ve been honored to work with this talented news team of dedicated reporters and editors covering many stories. But I’m most proud of our winning the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, among many other honors, after spending most of 2018 weeping, reporting and writing about the Parkland massacre. It was a bittersweet moment, receiving our second gold medal in a decade. It shows how this courageous staff has your back. They deserve your never-ending support. I will miss them so. Forty years ago, when I was in high school, my friend Alaina helped me get a job working for the Fort Lauderdale News selling subscriptions. Every day after school, a nice man named Mr. Shumacker picked me and eight other kids up in his big white van and dropped us in local neighborhoods (South Florida was safer then) to go door-to-door asking people to buy the News, a dominant evening paper, or the morning Sun Sentinel. A 13-week subscription was just $5. What a deal. I was awful at it.

Mr. Shumacker would tell me every Monday that he was going to have to let me go if I didn’t sell at least one subscription. I’d then beg him to come knock on a door and show me how it was done. He would agree and literally stick his foot in the door until the poor person handed over the five bucks. I helpfully filled out the order in my little book. This went on for months. I was no salesman. I soon transferred into the main office on the New River in downtown Fort Lauderdale to work in the Circulation department answering phones after school, learning first-hand the importance of good customer service. Not long after starting, I made my first trip to the press room. I’ll never forget the intoxicating smell of ink and the rumble and roar of those mighty machines. From that moment, I was hooked. The printing of a newspaper is truly a daily miracle, sheer teamwork. A running press is mesmerizing. I still pop into the press room to marvel at those beautiful hunks of metal. I will miss them.

Next, I transferred to the newsroom, taking a full-time job as the editorial page clerk, then as executive secretary to the editor. I finally made the leap from the clerical staff to the professional staff as an editor on the feature copy desk, thanks to Editor Earl Maucker. Finally, in 2010, I settled in the features department as a digital reporter. I became a columnist in 2013how I bought a Lexus with coupons, explaining . I’ve worked for eight publishers and five executive editors. I’ve had many mentors. They taught me trade secrets about their craft while encouraging and challenging me to grow. This business rewards curiosity and allows the pursuit of subjects that interest you; it lets you make a difference in your community and right wrongs, but mostly, it’s just plain fun. As a bonus, you get to meet all kinds of interesting people. I will miss that, too. There have been so many editors who helped mold me into the journalist I am today. They know who they are, and I’ll forever be grateful for their help. Like most of my grizzled colleagues, I’ve tried to pay that forward to every intern and green staffer who came my way.

One final thought: Before sharing bitter rhetoric about the dying state of the news business and destruction of local news by corporate overlords, let’s try something different. Buy the newspaper or a digital subscription. Support journalism. Please stop complaining on social media that you can’t read our stories because you hit a paywall. You don’t get a cup of coffee at Starbucks for free, and the same is true of the news. Pony up. You won’t be sorry. To make it easy for you, I’m sharing one final Doreen’s Deal. I asked our publisher, Nancy Meyer, for a hot subscription offer for six months of unlimited access to SunSentinel.com for $1.

Go to SunSentinel.com/greatdeal to sign up through Feb. 14. Share that with your friends and family!

It’s ironic that after celebrating my 40th anniversary on Jan. 27, I’ve come full circle, going out just like I came in, selling subscriptions. Now, it’s time to say so long. Thank you for being a loyal reader and for subscribing to the Sun Sentinel.

Connect with me at Facebook.com/DoreenDealsChristensen and Twitter.com/PrettyGoodIdeas and cneerod@gmail.com.