Goldberg became managing editor of the Merc in 1999 and named executive editor in 2003. She left in 2007. She left after being forced to make a number of rounds of layoffs. As she left, parent company Knight Ridder was imploding from a shareholder dispute.
“I just wanted to get out of the whole situation,” she told Cleveland Magazine in 2008. “It was just very unhappy. I didn’t see where it was going to end.”
In March 2007, a headhunter called her at the Merc. The Plain Dealer needed a new top editor. Was she interested? No, she said at first. Her stepson was a junior in high school, so she didn’t want to move.
“Then, after I hung up the phone, I started thinking, Let me get this straight, Susan. You’re in a situation that is not going well, and you have just told a top 20 newspaper to basically take a hike,” she said. “So I called the headhunter back and said, ‘Can I have a do-over on that?’"