Next steps and new adventures

After 13 years, I'm leaving CNET. Looking back on a long career, I can be sure of just one thing: I'm leaving here with a lot of love.

My CNET career: a hair history.
My CNET career: a hair history. Google Image Search

At the end of this month, I'll turn the last page of the longest single chapter of my life: 13 years at CNET (minus a brief departure in 2003 to O'Reilly Media), during which I've done just about every editorial job possible, and developed a career that was completely unexpected, wonderful, and enriching. I've grown up at CNET, and now I've decided to leave the nest.

I'll be pursuing independent projects that I'm extremely excited about. More details on that will be forthcoming, and you can check my blog, TheMolly, for more.

I've had an incredible and, looking back, incredibly long journey at CNET. I think it's never been stronger -- whether with new pursuits like Appliances and the Spanish-language sites or its sterling cast of reviewers, reporters, and the TV team. I'm proud to call these people my friends and colleagues, and I'm excited to watch and support this remarkable brand from afar.

I never intended to become a tech journalist. I studied journalism at the University of Montana and had dreams of being a foreign correspondent, or of moving to D.C. to take over Helen Thomas' chair at the White House. I went to work for the Associated Press, where I covered all kinds of crazy hard news and a little sports writing, too.

And although I loved news, I didn't love the hours, the lonely late nights in the newsroom, and the depressing stories. So, when a friend needed a roommate in Oakland in 1999, I packed up my truck and I drove to California. I got a job at MacHome Journal, where I got a crash course in tech reporting. I attended my first MacWorld, got mesmerized by Steve Jobs, reviewed the iMac DV, and discovered that I'd been dating nerdy boys for a reason. I was a geek, deep down inside.

CNET in August, 2000, when I came on board.
CNET in August, 2000, when I came on board.

Soon, I homed in on CNET -- it had the best grammar and the most professional tone I'd seen online. Lindsey Turrentine hired me as an associate editor on the Software and Internet Services beat, and I went on to review Apple hardware and software (I got yelled at by Apple PR a lot along the way). A lot. And Lindsey became one of my best friends, and the maid of honor at my wedding.

In 2004, after a few more job changes, my CNET career took an unexpected hard left. Mark Larkin, who was running the then-nascent CNET TV team, suggested that I do a video version of the Daily Buzz. And around the same time, our then general manager Candy Meyers suggested that Tom and I do a podcast, to capitalize on a growing trend in media.

So, Buzz Out Loud and the Buzz Report was born -- and you know the rest. The Buzz Report became, to my knowledge, the longest-running Web series online, airing from 2005 until its end in 2012. And Buzz Out Loud, well. Buzz Out Loud changed me forever. That show introduced me to the idea -- and the power -- of an online community. The BOL audience became our muses, our guides, our constant companions, and our friends. Everything I've done since has been informed by that show and always will be.

Old Buzz Out Loud photo: oh, dear.
Oh, dear.

Plus, of course, I did a little of everything at CNET: BOL, Buzz Report, Mailbag, Today in Tech History, and Gadgettes ... and I haven't forgotten you, either, TiVo people. And Larkin and I and the CNET TV team built CNET video into best tech video destination on the Web. It wasn't always pretty, but we were and are damn proud of it.

And then came Always On. When Buzz Out Loud ended, I wanted to do something totally different, and I was intrigued by the idea of trying to create a broadcast-quality show at CNET. I am incredibly lucky that CNET gave me both the platform, the runway, the trust, and the funding to develop an entirely new show, with a completely different focus and breadth.

And what an experience it's been. I learned how to executive produce a 22-minute show: budgeting, graphics, production planning, and hiring some amazing new people. Together we went to Paris, Barcelona, Vegas, LA, Vail, Hawaii, and on countless other adventures. I got to ride an America's Cup catamaran, jump out of a helicopter, and shove a two-foot-long thermometer down my nose. In service to the show I even trained for and ran my first half marathon. We took technology into the real world with a bang, and it was fun. I am so proud of the show we created, and in producing Always On I formed yet another family within my already large, already extended CNET family.

Skydiving and taking photos in mid-flight. So, that happened.
Skydiving and taking photos in mid-flight. So, that happened. CNET Always On

So this is the point where I know it seems crazy to leave a show, a family, and a company that's been so fun, wonderful, supportive, and loving for so many years. And maybe it is. But I've lived a lifetime inside these walls. I had three or four different jobs, at least -- I got married, I had a child, I got a divorce, and along the way, I grew up. For me, it's just time to move on. I love Always On, but I'm happiest when I'm a writer and a podcaster. I love CNET, but I'm ready to take sole ownership of my career, my brand, and my time.

So, it's time for the next adventure. I will always have CNET's back, and I will always be grateful for the opportunities I've had here, for the platform I've been given, and for the people I've been lucky enough to work with. And if you see me pop up now and then, don't be surprised. Some things, you never let go of completely. And to you, the audience, my friends and community, I hope you'll all join me on my next adventure, and thanks for everything you've given me so far. See you on the other side.