1. Opinion

Tim Nickens to retire as Tampa Bay Times’ editor of editorials

Nickens will leave after 30 years at the company and 12 leading the editorial board.

Tampa Bay Times Editor of Editorials Tim Nickens is retiring this spring.

Chairman and CEO Paul Tash made the announcement Monday morning in a note to the staff saying, “Of course, Tim’s singular contribution to the public good is the work that won him (and colleague Daniel Ruth) a Pulitzer Prize — the campaign that put fluoride back in Pinellas County’s drinking water. But his painstaking labors in the vineyards of local governance — all those editorial interviews and recommendations for judges, school board members, local officials and state legislators — leave a broad influence on our region and state.”

Nickens, 60, has worked at the Times for 30 years, starting in 1983 as a reporter in the Clearwater bureau and then in St. Petersburg. He worked in the Times’ Tallahassee bureau for several years and then spent five years in the Miami Herald’s Tallahassee bureau before returning to the Tampa Bay area and the Times as an editorial writer in 1995. He later served as the Times’ political editor and as metro editor, running the newsroom’s local news operation. Nickens rejoined the editorial board as the deputy editor of editorials in 2004 and was promoted to editor of editorials in 2008. He is a member of the board of directors of Times Publishing Co.

“I’ve been so fortunate to work for three decades at one of the nation’s best newspapers, with such talented colleagues and great friends,’’ Nickens said. “It’s been rewarding work, and it’s been wonderful to see the entire Tampa Bay region blossom since we first arrived. I believe the Times’ editorial voice has contributed to that success, and I’ve decided it’s time for me to take a step back, spend less time thinking about politics and public policy — and more time watching baseball games.''

Tash called Nickens “a champion of values this newspaper has held high — good schools, clear air and water, open government, civil rights and personal liberty.”

“I will miss him,” Tash wrote.