Regarding RedState and Leon Wolf

In June of last year I decided it was time for me to leave RedState after eleven years. With my radio career moving forward and RedState owned by a competing radio company, that along with many other reasons just made it seem like the right time to leave. There was only one person I felt comfortable leaving the site with.

I have written several times over the years, quite critically, of conservative organizations that collapse when their founder dies. I have seen too many conservatives fund groups that end the moment the face of the organization is six feet under. I did not want my departure to cause a collapse at RedState and knew Leon Wolf could keep it going.

It took some persuasion at the office, but by October of last year, Leon was announced as managing editor. He poured himself into it with enthusiastic zeal. I have, over the years, referred to Leon as my house snapping turtle. When he seizes on an issue, cause, or problem, Leon does not let it go until he hears thunder. And in my years at RedState, rarely was he wrong.

Leon came in, added front page contributors, restructured how contributors were paid, and site traffic soared. More importantly, in my final years at RedState I felt a nagging sense of guilt that whenever anyone wrote anything brilliant, I got the credit. It was unfair to them. Leon restored the vision of RedState as a group blog and not just Erick and His Super Very Best Friends.

It has been somewhat hilarious in recent days to see people claim RedState’s revenue and traffic is down under Leon’s watch. Not only is that a flat out lie, but one of dramatic proportions. His management of the site has driven its traffic to levels far higher than when I was there.

Today, since the news is out and I can finally talk about it, Glenn Beck has hired Leon to serve as managing editor of The Blaze. I can think of no better person for the job.

One of Leon’s growing passions has been to direct conservative attention to the real issues of minorities in America with law enforcement. Glenn shares that concern and I think, if this is the only thing that comes from this relationship, conservatives will be served well by Leon and The Blaze if together they continue to cover this issue.

RedState, too, is still in good hands. When I started the RedState Gathering in 2009, I was in uncharted water, but Caleb Howe knew those waters very well. He excelled at planning the Gathering and then, once on payroll, bolstering morale and manning the helm. Caleb is both selfless and egoless when it comes to managing a group of strong personalities. He is the perfect fit to take over day to day management of RedState and keep it growing. Caleb has a great sense for news and also real camaraderie with people that puts them at ease. I’m excited for him.

God speed to them both.

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Erick Erickson

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