Goodbye from MacNN, and Managing Editor Mike Wuerthele

21 years, 180,000 articles. Personally, four years and five million words

This is it. The last unique words on the MacNN homepage, barring some miracle. Hey gang, I'm Mike Wuerthele, and I've been your host here for the last couple of years, so it's only fitting that I'm the one turning off the lights.

When MacNN launched in 1995. I was a pretty junior sailor, on a 10-year old fast-attack submarine with a go-getter captain. I knew about MacNN, as the MacWeek magazine that started showing up for me (that kept on getting "borrowed" by a senior officer for a few days) would mention the site. In the rare occasions that I was home, I'd hit the page, and see what was going on.

MacNN
MacNN's middle management, circa 1997


Fast forward a few more years, and I was out of the service, and working at one of a series of computer shops, both Apple-sanctioned and not. MacNN was a more-than-daily hit still, as sometimes the site had a better handle on what was going on than the magazines of the day did.

Years passed, and I kept reading. Other sites got bought or died off, and I kept reading. My own jobs came and went, and yes, I kept reading.

In early 2012, the site put out a call for writers. I applied, summarizing the then-ongoing Apple versus Motorola patent battle. I thought I did very badly, and didn't hear anything about the submission until April of 2012. I had a few interviews, where they asked if I could pull off the 5PM to 3AM ET shift -- which I could, as I had been in the Navy -- and I started on April 16 of 2012.

Its easy to tell how long I've been working here. My youngest child was born on April 26 of 2012. To be fair, I had told management and ownership that the baby was coming, but my very brief message in work chat of "brb, having a baby" I still get hassled about.



MacNN's most popular days were in the early part of the century. A year after I was hired, after many midnight conversations with Charles Martin, we realized that the site needed help, and needed a voice. It took about another year of harassing management for anything to really change -- on the strength of the emails that I kept battering ownership with, one October day, I was granted the Managing Editor job.

We wouldn't have lasted this long, if it wasn't for the brilliant people that I've had the immense pleasure of working with since then. Michelle Elbert did apps for me for a while, and I pushed her way past her comfort zone with some of the titles I had her review. Jordan Anderson has been my right-hand man since about 2009, and I had the pleasure of being able to work with him here for a while.

Sanjiv Sathiah has been here for utterly ages -- he started in 2010, and has been giving us the vast majority of the early looks at Apple hardware and software. Apple US doesn't really care for us that much, but we know they read what we write. Do they support us like other venues? Not a whit. Despite this, somehow, Sanjiv convinced Apple Australia that they should work with us for review units and the like, and I'm eternally indebted to him. Nobody, making what they make here, would have been able to buy this gear for review, and that kind of thing is the bread and butter of an Apple tech site.

Amber Neely I've known for a long time, almost as long as Jordan. She kicked open the doors of the boy's club, and we are richer for it. We joke all the time that she has a Bluetooth speaker wall, but in reality, she has an iOS library second to none now. When I'm too mopey, she gives me a virtual boot in the butt, reminding me of what this is all for.

I started about the same time as Malcolm Owen, and he is to Windows and OS X as I am to OS X and Windows. He is our stranger in a strange land, and his sacrifices have given a lot to the site over the four years we've been working the bit mines.

Why is William Gallagher working for us? Can anybody give me a legitimate reason other than pod people temporarily possessing him for why he wanted to? He applied to write for us a few years back, and based on his work history, I put him in the "yeah, like we can afford this kind of quality" pile. Charles made me email back, and give him a ludicrously low offer, and out of some cosmic freak accident or the aforementioned Ceti Alpha ear-eel infestation, he said yes. Of course, I took too many liberties with poor William, taking away some of his favorite technologies so he could write about it.

Charles Martin has been here a lot longer than I have, and he and I have shared two years of ridiculously late shifts, gleaning meaning from press releases, late court filings, and spec sheets. When I ordered the podcast restart, he jumped in with me whole-heartedly. Very easily, he could have done the Managing Editor job, but he was fine with being our chief grammarian, and comma-inserter.

Like a too-long Oscar speech, I have just a few more people to thank. From my distant history, I have Captain Gary Rogeness, Captain Owen Travis, ETCM(SS) Ernest Todd, and ETCM(SS) Curt Haggard to thank for teaching me how to lead people and not just push them around.

Likewise, there are three or four from my tenure in the Navy that I'd like to thank for proving to me that "leadership" sheerly by virtue of position is no kind of leadership at all. These men shall remain nameless, but the four mentioned in the paragraph above this one probably know who I'm talking about.

Thanks for Monish Bhatia, our Editor in Chief and owner, as well as Jon Fingas (now at Engadget) for giving me a shot. And again, thanks to my crew, here at MacNN, not just for doing my bidding, but being friends along the way.

On a less personal note, MacNN would like to thank all of the public relations staff who've worked with us, for better or worse, over the last 21 years. You were with us when MacNN was the voice of the resistance, and you've stuck with us all this time -- we couldn't have done it without you.

To you, the readers: many of you have been with us for a decade or more, and you have the forum profiles to prove it. We've been through Apple's death and resurrection together, and here we are. Today, Apple isn't the company we jumped in with, but then again, we aren't the people we were then, either.

We're not completely disappearing -- you'll be seeing our bylines here and there about the web, and its possible you've seen some already. There is no orbital weapon scouring the site from existence or anything like that, so the archives will be available for a while. Additionally, the forums remain. If you're a podcast listener, we'll be back next week in your regular feed, just with a different title. We'll be opening up our topics of conversation a bit, and will have a few more voices, many of whom you've already heard, to help us out as we go along.

The submarine I served on was decommissioned in the end of 2007, and I was long gone at that point, but it still made me upset to hear. This year marks the end of MacNN, and this place has been more than my home for longer than just the time I've spend working on it. Maybe some day in the future it will return, like the Rickover will in a few years. Without this gang of misfit toys at the helm and the miscreants in the forums, though, it won't be the same.

I wrote the first draft of this piece on Saturday. I've edited it a thousand times since then. This particular paragraph isn't enough, and doesn't really describe how grateful I am to everybody, but on behalf of present and past staff, thanks for reading. Thanks for the kind words this last week, and we'll be seeing you soon.

Signing off.

-Mike Wuerthele
Managing Editor
77 Comments
  1. Avatar
    Le Flaneur Senior User Joined: Oct 14, 1999

    Thanks for all of your hard work!

  2. Avatar
    DiabloConQueso Grizzled Veteran Joined: Jun 11, 2008

    Every word you've written for this site over the years is much appreciated, and each was a part of my daily morning routine of settling in for the work day.

    Happy trails.

  3. Avatar
    sidewaysdesign Fresh-Faced Recruit Joined: Feb 22, 2011

    *sniff*

    Spent the last week or so sniffing about for other Mac news sites to fill the pending void. Not one holds a candle to MacNN...

    Wishing you all well in future endeavours.

  4. Avatar
    ADeweyan Fresh-Faced Recruit Joined: Mar 17, 2004

    So, so sorry to see this site go. I've come here every day for close to 20 years, and it never disappointed (well, maybe sometimes right after the redesigns when I had to figure out how to get it looking like the older site I remembered).

    Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to bring this site to life. As far as I can see, it's the last of a great generation of Apple-centric news sites. It's the end of an era.

  5. Avatar
    joelw135 Fresh-Faced Recruit Joined: Nov 03, 2008

    I feel like I have lost a friend! I wish you and the staff the best.

  6. Avatar
    msuper69 Professional Poster Joined: Jan 16, 2000

    It's great that the forums will still be active!

  7. Avatar
    macmedia1 Fresh-Faced Recruit Joined: Dec 07, 2005

    !!! a bittersweet moment
    MacNN was the modern replacement for MacWeek for me and when that was discontinued, I already had MacNN as my new replacement. As @sidewaysdesign has said, now that the candle is blowing out on MacNN, there is really nothing to keep the flame on like the olympic torch. Nothing compares to this site and my fear is that no one will replace it. I wish the best for the folks at MacNN in their future endeavors!

  8. Avatar
    Salsa Forum Regular Joined: Oct 27, 2003

    Wow, I didn't see this coming. I've been reading this site since the 1990's. I think it was 1996.

  9. Avatar
    omarv Forum Regular Joined: Oct 18, 1999

    Good luck on the next chapter. It's been a great 20 years reading on your website. Yet it still feels too short.

  10. Avatar
    WiseWeasel Junior Member Joined: Apr 21, 1999

    Thank you, and to all MacNN staff, best of luck on your new endeavors! This site will be sorely missed.

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