Local News

Longtime N&O Columnist Begins New Beat

Posted January 29, 2007 6:13 p.m. EST
Updated January 29, 2007 7:06 p.m. EST

For 30 years, Dennis Rogers has written a News & Observer column with opinions that attracted attention. Now he's giving it up, but that's not the end of the story.

Rogers has embarked on a new assignment at home in Sanford. His new work for The N&O will be about the home front, the war, and its impact on eastern North Carolina.

“This is a tremendous upheaval (that’s) going on in that area, and I want to go down and get in touch with that and bring that story back,” Rogers said.

Rogers wrote his last column for The N&O last week. His new stories will begin to be published in the near future. Officials at the paper said they would not add a columnist to replace him.

“People have been talking about the end of an era at The N&O,” he said. “And I kind of feel like that guy in ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail.’ ‘I'm not dead yet!’”

Rogers did come to a crossroads, however, and he reinvented himself at the age of 64. He feels he's the right guy for the job.

He was in the Army and is an eastern North Carolina native, and there are stories about sacrifices being made by families on the home front there. Rogers said he made a promise to himself to tell those stories.

“I can't think of anything more important,” he said.

Rogers called himself an old geezer blazing a new trail, but he said it's a road he must ride.

“I wish I could walk away now and say, ‘OK, I've done my 35 years in journalism,’” he said. “But I can't go quite yet. It's a personal debt of honor, and I've got to pay that debt. Then I can walk away. Then I can go drink pina coladas on the beach and ride my motorcycle.”