Opinion » Note

Coping With a Big Change

Saying goodbye to longtime Boise Weekly columnist Bill Cope


I'm not going to lie, it wasn't Bill Cope's idea to retire his column, which has been published in Boise Weekly for more than 20 years. Sure, he has admitted on a few occasions that he felt burnt out, that words have sometimes been harder to spit out onto the page than they should be or inspiration was nowhere to be found. He knew there would come a time when, as he said, "either I would outgrow Boise Weekly or Boise Weekly would outgrow me." Neither of those things are necessarily true, and I think Bill probably would have happily continued to fill his half-page each week until there really was nothing left to say—and we all know that would never happen with Bill.

His departure from the pages of BW is driven by a number of things. First, we have to do a lot with what space and freelance funds we have each week, and often that means sacrificing content. Trimming back our opinion section will give us much needed flexibility, which leads to the second factor in making our decision: There are many other voices in the community that should be heard. Again, more flexibility will allow us to feature more and varied perspectives. Third, and Bill himself told me a month or so ago, that 20+ years is a long time to be grinding on a deadline. You may or may not know this, but Bill is also an author, and an author needs time and freedom to work. Stepping back from the weekly churn—which also included two lengthy posts per week on boiseweekly.com—will give him the brain space to focus on those bigger projects.

It's going to be weird around here without Bill. He and I had a longstanding phone appointment on Thursday mornings, which will feel strange to skip. He will always be part of the Boise Weekly's DNA, as evidenced by the almost 40-pages of his articles archived on boiseweekly.com—and those only go back to 2004.

Bill has plenty more to say here, so I'll leave it to him. I'll finish by saying it's been a privilege to work with him and to have read him since I first picked up a copy of BW in 1999. I'm looking forward to seeing what he comes up with next.