"I've been very happy at the Post," stresses Haley, who'll finish up at the paper on May 27 and begin his new job on June 6. "I've been here for thirteen years, been on the editorial board for nine years, and been in this position for four years. But I'm 41 years old, I have a good 25 years left to work, and I've always sort of wondered what I was going to do with those years if I were to leave journalism."
Such musings bubbled to the surface in March, when Haley was contacted by Arthur Hodges, a former Post reporter (and onetime Westword staffer) currently serving as a CoBank vice president. "He wanted to see if I would be interested in the job," Haley notes. "And I thought, this is a time in my life when I would at least be interested in talking with him about it. So we got together and talked, and I started thinking about it and went through the process with him -- and ultimately, he offered me the job.
"It was not an easy decision to make," he goes on. "In fact, it was one of the toughest decisions I've had to make in my life, mainly because I've been happy at the Post. It's much more difficult to leave a job you've enjoyed. But if I was going to make the leap, I felt more comfortable going to a place where I already knew my boss, and liked and respected him. And it's a director-level position, so I'll have a staff that does the advertising, marketing, public relations. Ultimately, I think the decision best suits me, my family and my future."
Is Haley more confident the bank will still be standing a quarter-century from now than that the Post will continue to exist?
"I'm pretty confident the Denver Post will have a future for a long time in Colorado, and for a long time it's going to involve a print product," he replies. "I've been an advocate of that. I've been out preaching the positives of newspapers and journalism, and I believe the Post has a long and important future in Colorado. And in a one-newspaper town, I think the editorial page is more important than ever."
Why leave it, then? Haley says "it really had nothing to do with personnel at the Post. I've enjoyed Mike Littwin coming back here immensely. But the way the situation is set up here, I wrote a lot of editorials, I wrote a column, I edited the entire section. There's a lot to this job; it's more involved than it ever was. And while I enjoy many of those aspects, it's a stressful position. I'm not a guy who runs from jobs. But I think CoBank will be a better fit for me and my family," including his two kids, ages four and nine.
Who he hopes to see a little more often.
More from our Media archive: "The Denver Post's Dan Haley is the greatest Broncos prognosticator ever."