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The Texas Tribune fills editor-in-chief role with seasoned journalist

Sewell will start at the Texas Tribune as the new editor in October. (Los Angeles Times)

The Texas Tribune announced a new shift in leadership on Thursday, bringing Sewell Chan, a venerated journalist and editor from the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and The Washington Post on board as editor-in-chief.


Chan's newly-appointed role marks the fifth editor-in-chief the digital paper has seen in its 12 years of business.

The Tribune applauded his accomplishments in the announcement, calling his career "stellar." Chan started his career at The Washington Post as a metro reporter, and followed with 14 years wearing numerous hats at The New York Times before, finally spending the last three years as deputy managing editor of the Los Angeles Times.

"He's terrific at every aspect of the job, from writing and editing and to inspiring and marshaling the troops. By reputation, he outworks everyone in our business. We're so excited to have a steady hand on the wheel and a fresh set of eyes on everything we do and how we do it," the announcement reads.

After a year and a half of bad news and fatigue during the pandemic, The Tribune said it is aiming for the road to recovery with the help of Chan's "gentle, empathetic, collaborative style." Meanwhile, the Harvard University and University of Oxford alumni has already earned the respect of fellow members of local media—Austin American-Statesman editor Manny García said Chan is "a healer."

The Tribune has been searching for a new editor since former editor Stacy-Marie Ishmael stepped down on March 30 this year, citing burnout during the pandemic. Prior to Ishmael, the paper was led by Emily Ramshaw, who went on to launch a women's and policy publication, The 19th*.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Chan will leave their newsroom on Sept. 3 and join the Tribune team by Oct. 18. He'll be in Austin sooner, though, at the Texas Tribune Festival in September.

"We're so fortunate to attract someone of his caliber and character," the announcement said.

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