In 2013, I took a buyout after 25 years as a reporter and editor at the Reno Gazette-Journal. I got a call from Reno Mayor Bob Cashell, a Texas transplant who became one of Nevada’s favorite sons.

“You’re too young to be nailing the old coonskin to the wall,” Bob drawled. I told him I’d still be working—writing books, teaching and performing in Chautauqua. I’d made a living telling stories for decades, I noted, and I wouldn’t stop spinning yarns. But I’d sworn off full-time jobs forever, especially one listed at the top of a newspaper’s masthead.

Seven years later, COVID-19 disrupted everyone’s lives, eventually killed 1.1 million Americans (and counting) and erased countless businesses. The Reno News & Review shut down in March 2020. I was hired weeks later to keep the RN&R alive online “for about three months” until the pandemic ended.

During the first year, I felt like a lone defender on the walls of the Alamo. (Cashell, who died in 2020, would have appreciated the simile.) The job was both a burden and a blessing. As the country was roiled by contagion, economic woes, toxic politics and civil strife, I was back in my element, reporting from the streets, not trapped at home as news broke out all over.

When former editor Jimmy Boegle bought the paper last year, I stayed on as editor/reporter to help shepherd it back into print. I always planned to return to projects I’d put on hold—and now I am.

This is my last issue as managing editor. Veteran Reno journalist Kris Vagner will take the conn.

I’ll remain a contributor, so I’ll still see you in the funny papers. It has been an honor, a privilege and an unexpected last hurrah to be at the helm of the RN&R these past 40 months.

And now my watch is ended.

Join the Conversation


  1. Fantastic job Frank, bringing something back from the dead during the pandemic. Congrats! You’ve now got an awesome legacy. It’s so important for a community to have more than one media outlet, esp print.

  2. OMG! I cannot believe the media landscape without Frank! I have known you as a true defender of the little guy since the RGJ, when I was a young advocate for children with disabilities. You are honestly the only reason I read and donate to the RNR. This new person better be damn good. Thank you for all the year and all the stories and for holding down your little corner of civilization all this time.

  3. Keeping the metaphorical lights on at the RN&R during some very dark times has been a noteworthy accomplishment and an important contribution to northern Nevada. No expression of gratitude really seems sufficient, but thank you!

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