We do hate to say goodbye to writers whose work has distinguished our publication, but we must report that Charles Maldonado is leaving Metro Pulse to strike his fortune in the glittery city of Nashville. (Not to become a country and western singer, as you might expect, but to join his girlfriend in cohabitation as he seeks freelance work.)
Since arriving at our paper from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle in March of 2008, Charles unflinchingly tackled difficult stories that inevitably seemed to upset somebody somewhere, somehow. The shortlist of the annoyed includes: creationists, local Obama campaign workers, Brian Conley, certain Knoxville nerds, city government officials, county government officials, school administrators, convention center management, and roller derby players around the country. But in the course of raising such ire, Charles also picked up some nice awards from (out of town) contest judges: a first place in investigate journalism from the East Tennessee Society for Professional Journalists (for "The Box We Bought," his in-depth look at how we got stuck with the debt-ridden Knoxville Convention Center), and third place in arts criticism from the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies (for "So, This is My Life..." a tongue-in-cheek analysis of young adult fiction).
Taking up the scrappy staff writer position is Frank Carlson, who joins us from a tour of duty in Washington D.C. at The Newshour with Jim Lehrer. You may be familiar with Frank's monthly national affairs column, The Hill to the Hills, which he wrote for us since March of this year. Other career highlights include a fellowship from the Carnegie and Knight Foundations, a teaching stint at the University of Science and Technology in Beijing, and a Master's degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. (Not to worry, hometown traditionalists—he was born and raised in Knoxville.)
We expect much from both Charles and Frank, and hope you'll join us in wishing them both good luck in their new endeavors.