Metro Times Seeks New Editor

Gabriel cites fatigue, says he will write

Larry Gabriel, editor of Detroit’s Metro Times since 1997, resigned from his post effective August 31, citing fatigue as a primary reason for his departure.

“I was just kind of burnt out,” Gabriel says. “I wanted some time to assess what I was doing and figure out my next step.”

For now, Gabriel’s shoes have been filled by the Metro Times managing editor, W. Kim Heron. Publisher David Jost says he expects to hire a permanent replacement within the next several weeks. The selection process, Jost says, has involved candidates nationwide as well as candidates from within the Metro Times editorial staff.

Both Gabriel and Jost, who joined Metro Times four months ago, say their brief working relationship was respectful and effective.

“There wasn’t any big problem between Jost and me,” says Gabriel.

Jost agrees, adding that it is quite possible Gabriel’s byline will appear in Metro Times in the future. Jost also says he is excited about his weekly’s new prospects.

“With a new publisher and soon a new editor, we’ve got a great opportunity to reinforce our position here in Detroit and take Metro Times to the next level,” Jost says.

Gabriel, one of a handful of African-American editorial staffers in AAN, acknowledged that he felt some pressure from the African-American community in Detroit to stay at Metro Times. “I was sort of a symbol for some people in the community, a black man who made it,” he says. “But in the end I decided I had to do what’s best for me and my family.”

Heron is also African-American.

Gabriel had worked at Metro Times off and on since 1985. He plans to remain in Detroit, where he was born and raised, but wouldn’t rule out the possibility of moving elsewhere should a good opportunity present itself. For now, he is going to concentrate on writing.

“My plan is to freelance and write books,” says Gabriel. “I’m interested in African-American culture and history, so I’m sure I’ll work a bit in that area.”

Metro Times was founded in 1980 and is the only AAN-member in Detroit, with a circulation of 110,000.

Dann McDorman is a freelance writer based in New York City.

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