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Texas Tribune co-founder Evan Smith stepping down as CEO

Evan Smith is stepping down as CEO of The Texas Tribune. (Bob Daemmrich)

The Texas Tribune will be on the search for a new CEO as leader behind the nonprofit news organization, Evan Smith, says he is completing his last year in the position.

Smith, 55, said, "it's time," in an online announcement on Wednesday morning. He said he will step down no later than Dec. 31 and will act as a senior adviser to his replacement through the end of 2023, per the organization's board's request.

"I’ll always think back on these 13 years as the absolute high point in my career," he wrote.

A New York native, Smith has been working in Texas journalism for 30 years. He started at Texas Monthly in 1991, becoming the magazine's top editor. He left to start The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit digital news source focused on Texas politics, policy and social issues, in 2009 with venture capitalist John Thornton and journalist Ross Ramsey.

In his announcement, he states he has "founder's disease," where he's stuck in the way they've always done things and isn't keeping up with the march of change. "I may have built this thing, but I can’t and shouldn’t be an obstacle to the rebuilding of this thing. Nor should I be an obstacle to the new generation, a generation more representative of the Texas of today, getting a chance to lead," Smith said.

Smith said he doesn't know what's next for him as of yet but there will indeed be a next for him.

The Texas Tribune has gone through multiple changes in recent years as two higherups, Emily Ramshaw and Amanda Zamora, left to start women-focused politics site The 19th* in 2019 and two other leaders Stacy-Marie Ishmael and Millie Tran left due to feelings of burnout last year.


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