Friday, June 26, 2009

A Change in Fayette: Farewell to Chuck and Cindy Morley

I've been in Fayette County long enough to remember when Chuck and Cindy Morley took over the Fayette Daily News around 14 years ago. For many in Fayette, they've never know a Fayette Daily News without the pair at the helm. At the end of the month, newbies coming into the county will read a Fayette Daily minus the hard-working dynamic duo.

I remember walking into Chuck's office many times way back when to sneak one of my press releases into his huge overflowing in-box stack. I'd position it near the top knowing he'd never get down to the one at the bottom. At times I'd slide the same one in the pile in a couple of spots. Sometimes I just leave it in his chair or someplace where I knew he couldn't miss it in hopes that my bright colors and fancy fonts, if not the subject matter, would catch his attention. Most of the time he'd be in his office and we'd chat. Almost as often, if I found Chuck, I'd find Cindy... always wearing something with a noticeable Georgia Bulldog logo it seemed!

Over the years our paths have crossed many times as I managed my public relations and marketing company, worked part-time for one of their competitors and then became a quasi-competitor of sorts when I started the Fayette Front Page. Inevitably if I went to a Tech or Georgia game I'd see the pair at some point with cameras, pad and pens, covering the action.

Change is a way of life these days so it's hard to complain about some of the changes, even some of the ones I don't like. People retire or move onto better things. Newspapers shrink, formats change and the focus shifts.

The Fayette Daily News will not be the same without Chuck and Cindy. It has become so closely identified with them that whoever attempts to take their place is going to have a difficult time of it I'd think. Despite the growth in Fayette, we're still a small town in many ways and relationships matter.

There are very few Fayette County secrets unknown to the Morleys. They know the history of the county, the good and the bad. They know the relationships, the ties and the heart of the community. They seem to pretty much get along with everyone and manage to find friends on both sides of issues.

It's going to be strange sitting at a Fayette County Commission meeting without Cindy to joke and talk to during the lulls. I'll miss hearing Chuck's dry witty comments at the next event I cover. It's rare to cover any event and not find one of the two.

I wish them well and hope their next ventures are wildly successful. We're going to miss them in Fayette County.

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