Andy Dudzik, the longtime publisher of the Santa Fe Reporter, has announced that he will leave the paper later this year.

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Dudzik announced his decision in an email to staffers Wednesday.

"I first started at the Reporter in 1996 as an ad rep in display sales," Dudzik wrote. "Two years later I took on the responsibility of managing both sales departments, and two years after that I was named the paper's publisher, the position I've held since. This paper has been my professional passion for half my adult life, and it's truly been a labor of love for me."

"I have been blessed to have this opportunity and to work with so many talented people, especially all of you who—in my humble estimation—are the best staff the Reporter has ever seen," Dudzik continued. "I have been with SFR through thick and thin, and I will always be its biggest fan."

Dudzik, who plans to pursue other projects—including spending more time on his artistic career, as well as with his family—will remain at the Reporter through the summer to "ensure a smooth transition in leadership."

(SFR Editor Alexa Schirtzinger

in late summer to undertake a

at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., where she will be researching new revenue models for local journalism.)

On the plus side,

we're hiring!

View the job description for the editor (and, soon, publisher) position

.