Newly named AAN assistant editor Shala Carlson has decided to return to Louisiana. Carlson was serving as Gambit Weekly’s managing editor prior to Hurricane Katrina and accepted the AAN position in the days following the storm.
“I think I just acted too quickly,” Carlson says. “I believed I was ready to make a move, but I didn’t anticipate how much I need friends and family and familiarity right now. I want to thank everyone in the AAN office — and especially executive director Richard Karpel and his wife, Alice — for allowing me this opportunity to come to Washington and to learn more about the organization. What I’ve discovered is that Louisiana, New Orleans and Gambit aren’t just in my heart, they are my heart. While I will always be grateful to AAN, I just want to be as close to home as possible during this challenging time.”
“I’m disappointed because I know that Shala would have been a marvelous asset to AAN members,” says Karpel. “But this has been a traumatic time for her and I completely understand her decision.”
Carlson arrived in Washington, D.C., last Wednesday afternoon and worked at AAN for two days before deciding that she made a mistake in accepting the position. She stayed with Karpel and his wife at their home through the weekend and flew back south on Monday morning. Carlson is returning to her parents’ home in Opelousas, La., and looks forward to the eventual return of Gambit Weekly.
“I know I speak for everyone at Gambit when I say how thankful we all are for the support and understanding of AAN members over these past few weeks,” Carlson says. “Everyone has been exceptionally kind during these difficult days.”
A help-wanted ad for the open position was posted earlier today on aan.org as well as several other recruitment Web sites. It will also run in this week’s issue of Washington City Paper.