Farewell to Stuart Warner

In what is being hailed as one of the shortest stints as president of The Press Club of Cleveland, Stuart is leaving for Arizona to assume duties as Senior Content Manager at the Arizona Republic in Phoenix, starting Jan. 28. Stuart leaves Northeast Ohio after 33 years. Stuart has served this Club faithfully for so many years and we wish him nothing but the best.

Below is a tribute penned by Press Club board member and Plain Dealer Columnist Margaret Bernstein. Stuart was a writing coach at The Plain Dealer and was Margaret's editor for several years.



Here’s what happened when you became my editor.


I wrote, you coached. In listening to you … I learned to listen to me. You told me that I had something important to say. Once I believed that, I started winning writing awards. Believing in your ability is a trait that some reporters are born with, but many others have to be convinced of.


You edited my piece on “The Three Doctors” and you made sure it got on page one. You listened when I said it was a good story, and you told me to not to rush it into the paper as a daily, but to take my time and do it the right way. I got a book contract as a result of doing it the right way.


Of course, how did I reward you when I started writing that book? I started sending long and wordy drafts of my chapters to your home email address and begging for your advice, which you freely gave. I would not have wanted to be you, the person trying to convince a worried writer used to regular deadlines and just that feeling of completion once you do a story, that she indeed had what it takes to write an entire book on a topic as foreign as fatherlessness.


Thank you for the excessive handholding. This is one example of why you are revered in the Plain Dealer newsroom. It has nothing to do with techniques of narrative writing, with “finding words that work” or using two-way verbs. It has to do with helping people find their voice. You have left an extraordinary gift behind in Cleveland. You taught me and many others our worth.


-Margaret Bernstein