Sewell Chan of Los Angeles Times to Lead Texas Tribune Newsroom
The Texas Tribune on Thursday appointed Sewell Chan, editor of the Los Angeles Times, as its new editor.
Mr. Chan, 43, is the editor of the Los Angeles Times editorial page, overseeing its editorial board and opinion section. He will move to Austin, where The Tribune is based, in September and debut on October 18.
“The decision was really about the potential and the opportunity to work in a very different type of institution in a very different state and, yes, the chance to lead an organization, which I think will be really exciting,” said Mr. Chan in an interview.
His appointment comes four months after two of The Tribune’s executives – editorial director Stacy-Marie Ishmael and product manager Millie Tran – resigned after a year on the job. Their decision to leave surprised The Tribune’s general manager, Evan Smith.
Mr. Chan, originally from Queens, NY, began his career at the Washington Post. In 2004, he joined The New York Times, where he worked as a subway reporter, Washington correspondent, associate opinion editor and editor of international news.
He joined the Los Angeles Times as an associate editor in 2018 and became editorial page editor last year. Under his direction, writer Robert Greene won a Pulitzer Prize for a series of editorials on the criminal justice system. Mr. Chan was one of the internal candidates to become the managing editor of the Los Angeles Times after its editor, Norman Pearlstine, left last year. The job went to Kevin Merida in May.
The Tribune, a nonprofit digital publication known for its rigorous coverage of politics and policymaking in the Lone Star State, was launched in 2009. Mr. Chan said he was drawn to his mission. civic and its base of support “across political divisions, geographic divides, between different racial and ethnic communities. He added that The Tribune’s nonprofit structure was” an important part of the solution “for a media industry information that struggles to find sustainable income streams.
“I’m against channels and newspapers owned by private equity funds or hedge funds because I think local investment, local engagement with these regional news brands is so important for the mission and also to earn and regain the trust of readers, ”he said.
Mr Chan said The Tribune will remain an important publication for the 2022 midterm elections and the 2024 presidential election.
“Every major force in America, from climate and technology to regulation and the future of voting and reproductive rights, everything is converging in Texas,” he said.
Mr. Smith, who helped found The Tribune after two decades at Texas Monthly, said in an interview that Mr. Chan had “an extraordinary sense of what news is and should be.”
“She is an extraordinarily sweet, empathetic and collaborative person, and after a year and a half of news that has touched us all terribly, I think we can all benefit from being in recovery mode, and I think the personality of Sewell is perfectly suited for this, ”said Mr. Smith.
Mr Smith added that The Tribune averaged more than four million unique visitors to its site this year, more than double the audience before the pandemic.
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