That was my editor friend Brad, demonstrating the plain-talk part of his straight-up style of management.
It was a while ago, when the news industry was in one of its periodic fits of self-examination, ignited by public outcry over some now-forgotten issue of what’s news and what isn’t.
Uncertainty about that definition troubled Brad not at all. He devoted no time to such matters.
The point of this reminiscence is to introduce Brad as a model of leadership clarity. You didn’t always agree with Brad or like his way of doing business, but you always knew where he stood.
“This is going to be the worst three months of your life,” he’d tell a newly hired staff member. “But if you make it, you’ll know the job.” That was intended to tell you to take the 90-day probation period seriously – as Brad himself surely did.