I suspect most readers saw the news yesterday, but just in case, this is my very last post here at the Washington Monthly. I’ll start my new gig at MSNBC on Monday, Jan. 30. (I’ll be traveling on Thursday and Friday, so no blogging for me.)

I am thrilled to be passing the torch to one of my very favorite writers. I may be leaving Political Animal, but it’s important to me to leave it in capable hands, and that’s exactly what’s going to happen: as Paul Glastris explained earlier, Ed Kilgore will get started here tomorrow. Ed is one of the best in the business, and I can only hope he enjoys writing for the Monthly as much as I have.

I tend not to talk too much about myself on the blog, but I hope readers will indulge me for a moment. I ran my own site from 2003 to 2008, and dreamed that I’d get picked up by a news outlet I enjoy and respect, so I could get paid to do what I love. The Washington Monthly gave me that opportunity three-and-a-half years ago, and for that, the editors, publishers, and the rest of the team here have my endless gratitude.

I meant what I said yesterday: I wasn’t prepared to leave this job unless something truly special came along, and fortunately for me, something did. The chance to work for Rachel Maddow and MSNBC is a dream gig that I couldn’t be more excited about.

One last thing: the support I’ve received since the announcement — in the comments section, via email, through social media — has been extraordinary. Readers are probably accustomed to my long-winded rants, so I’ll just say this: I lack the words to tell you how much I appreciate the support and encouragement.

And with that, I’m off. Be nice to the new guy — no hazing, please — and I hope to see you all on Monday morning.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.