When Ulish Carter first joined the New Pittsburgh Courier as a sports writer, Sly was Stone, not Stallone, and Tina was still with Ike.
Now, 44 years later, Carter, who has served as managing editor on and off for more than 20 years, is calling it a day. His last official day on staff is March 31. Robert Taylor, a 15-year veteran of print and broadcast news, takes over as managing editor April 1.
“I have truly enjoyed it,” Carter said, who is retiring because of severe vision problems. “I am one of those people who was lucky enough to get the job I sought, that I wanted.
“I have met some great entertainers, athletes, politicians and activists, but the greatest people I’ve meet has been my co-employees and the many community activists who fight for the betterment of their communities at no charge.”
[pullquote]I am one of those people who was lucky enough to get the job I sought, that I wanted.[/pullquote]Carter leaves behind an award-winning legacy of news, sports and editorial pieces that exemplified the Courier’s commitment to highlighting the dreams, struggles, successes and contributions of Pittsburgh’s Black community.
Originally from segregated, rural Tennessee, Carter moved to Champaign, Ill. in the 1960s. He graduated from Southern Illinois University in 1973 with a degree in journalism/and a passion for the Black press—he only applied for work at Black newspapers.
As he recalled in a 2011 piece for the Courier’s centennial, the Courier was the second publication to respond with an offer—for a sports reporter. Though he wanted to write news, he would do whatever was required to get his foot in the door.
“My first interview was with Muhammad Speaks, but I didn’t get hired because the general manager didn’t like me not wearing a suit—here’s a militant, national paper writing about the oppression of poor Blacks, and they didn’t hire me because I couldn’t afford a suit. So, I came here, to a city I had never seen, hundreds of miles from my family and friends to fulfill my dream,” he said.
“I didn’t make much money, but nobody I knew growing up did, so as long as I had a roof over my head, food on my table and clothes on my back I was fine. I worked days, nights, and weekends, and loved every minute of it.”
Carter first left the Courier in the early ‘80s—though he still submitted pieces from time to time—and worked as a store manager for Radio Shack. He returned in 1995, and other than a short time away because of health problems he has remained at the helm of the editorial department ever since.
New Pittsburgh Courier Editor and Publisher Rod Doss said the continuity Carter’s presence provided was a rare luxury in today’s newspaper business.
“We thank Ulish Carter for his many years of dedicated service and commitment to the New Pittsburgh Courier and its readers, and we wish him the very best in his retirement,” said Doss.
“We begin a new chapter as we welcome Rob Taylor as the new managing editor. Rob brings additional skills to further complement our editorial team.”
Taylor is a 2003 graduate of Ohio State University where he founded and published “Black Horizons Magazine,” managing editorial content and a staff of 15. Though most of his recent work has been in radio—he still commutes to Cleveland, Ohio for his weekend sports anchor duties on 92.3 The Fan—Taylor worked as a sports reporter for the Columbus Call and Post, and contributed news stories to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Dayton Daily News.
“It’s an honor to follow a man who has set the standard for journalism at the Courier for so many years,” Taylor said. “I know the history and impact the Courier has, and it’s my job to uphold the level of excellence the Courier has maintained.”
Carter said everyone he knows who has retired hasn’t regretted it, and he’s looking forward to it, but he will miss the Courier, and might get the itch from time to time to submit an opinion editorial, or a sports article.
“I’ll probably visit family in Champaign, and my sister in Atlanta; but mostly I’ll enjoy not working 50, 60 hours a week—I won’t miss that,” he said. “What I will miss are the great employees and the community people who allowed us to tell their stories. They are what it’s all about.”
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