It’s with a heavy heart that offer I the warmest congratulations the Philadelphia Daily News’ Wendy Ruderman, who’s accepted a job with the New York Times, starting in June.
It’s a bittersweet moment for me and many Philadelphia journalists, both because Wendy is a friend and because we’ve treasured her aggressive, but fair reporting for years.
Wendy is about four feet tall with a pixie haircut and an infectious laugh, but you don’t want her on your trail if you have something to hide.
She works around the clock. She has a sixth sense for discerning hidden motivations. She’s a great interviewer who understands how to use confidential sources and mine public records. And she is completely, utterly relentless.
There was a time when I was at the Daily News when she was working on a police misconduct story, and the documents she’d pulled were so voluminous that they gave her a conference room to sort them out. I remember looking across the office again and again, and seeing Wendy in that room, poring over stacks of paper on the table, on the chairs, on the floor, on the potted plant, in her lap, everywhere.
Working with another dear friend and great reporter, Barbara Laker, Wendy won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting. It’s the kind of dream-come-true that changes a journalists’ career, and I’m glad Wendy is going to get the recognition she deserves.
I’m sure she’ll be breaking stories on the New York City Police Department soon, but I have no doubt she’ll range far and wide before she hangs up her sneakers. I wish Wendy, her husband Karl Moser and their boys a smooth transition and a happy life up the turnpike. Stay in touch, girl.
Before leaving the subject, I have to say that Wendy’s departure is a loss for the Daily News, but not a debilitating one. I get the paper at my doorstep every day, and it’s still an indispensable source of great reporting and insight about what goes on in this city.
The paper faces a lot of uncertainty with new ownership, and they’ve lost staff and circulation like every paper, But I still marvel at the great young talent there – Stephanie Farr, Catherine Lucey, Dana DiFilippo, David Gambacorta, Jan Ransom and William Bender, just to name a few. Today’s example of Stuff I Love from the Daily News: Jason Nark’s piece about lawyer Jimmy Binns, who loves to dress up and play cop.
Here’s to the Ruderman Spirit, alive and well at the Daily News.