'Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.' -- Satchel Paige

San Francisco
San Francisco
John Carroll
John Carroll

It occurred to me as I was flying into San Francisco this week that I’ve been attending the annual confabs for BIO regularly for the past 12 years. And it started right here in the Bay Area with the 2004 meeting, when some ambitious protesters managed to liven things up on the streets.

Frankly, I didn’t have a clue what was going on.

Since then, the annual meetings for BIO, JPMorgan and ASCO have become something like the rings in a tree. It’s been growing steadily. And now it’s time to start putting out some new branches.

After a 13-year run at FierceBiotech, I’m stepping aside as editor-in-chief of our plucky, global band of life sciences reporters, as well as editor, lead writer and occasional op-ed enthusiast. This time next week I’ll be handing my 24/7 role to Stacy Lawrence, a savvy, experienced hand in biopharma reporting who has more than doubled readership in our devices report in the last two years. Tracy Staton will be assuming the lead role for the pharma side of the team. That’s not much of a change, as Tracy has been leading the charge in pharma for more than 8 years now, making it Fierce’s best read section.

I’m not leaving Fierce. I’ll be continuing on with a weekly column. You can also expect to see me at upcoming Fierce events on both sides of the Atlantic. And plans are afoot for adding a new venue for me to talk about biotech.

Biotech coverage has changed dramatically over the course of my 13-year stint. For me, it’s been an adventurous, ever-changing role, tapping rapidly expanding online networks of industry execs and investors through Twitter, LinkedIn and more. From nothing, we’ve built an online news group with more than 300,000 subscribers and 1.5 million web visits per month. Most of that is centrally focused on the life sciences crowd.

This transition into a new role at Fierce in hand with what I plan to do next online is a further exploration into developing a real-time dialogue concerning the most important daily events that occur in this global business.

Digital media can’t just offer another place to read the same pieces you’d find in print. New technologies are changing the relationship between writers and readers. It demands better insight, experienced observations and a willingness to cut to the chase.

It also requires a desire to take chances and explore, go deeper. I hope you come along for the ride. Because without you, dear readers, there is no ride. -- John Carroll @JohnCBiotech, [email protected]