Texas Tribune Startup Team Finalized

Finally, FINALLY, the whole founding team of the new Texas Tribune is official. Here’s the press release.

Ross Ramsey, a veteran capitol journalist who has headed political newsletter Texas Weekly, will join as our managing editor. Previously, Ramsey worked at the Houston Chronicle and Dallas Times-Herald.

Texas Weekly will be absorbed into Texas Tribune.

To review: Evan Smith is CEO, Ramsey is Managing Editor, reporters are Emily Ramshaw, Matt Stiles, Brandi Grissom, myself and Abby Rapaport is our junior reporter/editorial assistant.

We’re excited about everything ahead. The Austin Chronicle posted a quick blurb on it this morning.

“It’s really all about me,” says Evan Smith, explaining why after almost 18 years he is leaving Texas Monthly to helm a new media venture. Cutbacks at the magazine, forced by parent company Emmis Communications, “played no role,” said Smith, who was promoted to president last year. “It’s all about where I am and the fact that I’ve been doing this for a long time, and I’m ready to do something else.” That “something else” is the Texas Tribune, a nonpartisan, nonprofit, public issues journalism organization founded by Austin Ventures general partner John Thornton. Smith has been consulting with Thornton for the past year to help develop the project, which will “promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, politics, government, and other matters of statewide interest,” according to a press release. Initial hires include KVUE reporter Elise Hu, former Houston Chronicle reporter Matt Stiles, and Emily Ramshaw of The Dallas Morning News. Texas Tribune is expected to formally launch later this year and plans to host events to help spur dialogue and revenue.

Also, I talked about the project this morning with Bryan Person for Media Bullseye. We’ll link to that video when it is up.

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