After 10 years as Houston Chronicle editor, Jeff Cohen becomes executive editor of the Hearst-owned paper’s editorial pages.
“Ten years is a good run on the front line at a media institution of this size,” he writes in a memo to his staff. “But a new chief editor in the newsroom will bring about innovation and an internal evaluation that will be better for the Chronicle and for our audience.”
Read Cohen’s memo after the jump.
From: Cohen, Jeff
Sent: Friday, September 21, 2012 10:49 AM
Cc: Stephenson, Tom (HC); O’Loughlin, John T; Sweeney, Jack
Staff, It has been an enormous honor to work alongside each of you and to preside over the Chronicle’s newsroom for the last 10 years. Soon, however, I’ll be transitioning into an exciting new challenge, Executive Vice President and Executive Editor, in charge of our editorial and opinion pages. My recent anniversary in Houston, which also marked 23 years at the top of a Hearst newspaper’s masthead, was an opportunity to reevaluate my priorities and to assess the best way to spend the next part of my career. Our publisher, Tom Stephenson, and I have spent considerable time talking about this over the last month. He urged me to consider making a move to the opinion section in a job that would report directly to him.
I accepted the challenge because this is a way to make a dramatic impact on the future of Houston, my hometown. Tom and I have the shared goal of publishing daily opinion pages that will have a lasting impact on the region’s future.
We will be at the center of all great discussions in our community. Being your editor has been exhilarating. Any success this newspaper has enjoyed during my tenure is because of the teamwork in each quarter of the newsroom. More than anything, I’ll miss the afternoon news meeting, where I marvel each day at the camaraderie and the work that rights wrongs, makes this city better and the day more interesting. I’ll continue to have a hand in that. But the new job comes with something the old job didn’t: more hands-on time with words and ideas. It also allows me to work more closely with my friend John Wilburn and the talented thinkers on the 10th floor.
Ten years is a good run on the front line at a media institution of this size. But a new chief editor in the newsroom will bring about innovation and an internal evaluation that will be better for the Chronicle and for our audience. Before I begin my new duties, I’m going to take some time off for travel and to reimagine what the opinion pages in print and online might become. Steve Proctor will be in charge of day-to-day operations and Tom will keep you posted on long-term plans. We’ll start the dialog in a few minutes with a huddle around the City Desk at 11 a.m. I’ll see you back here soon.
Until then, thank you all for your dedication to journalism, the Chronicle and your support for me.
Jeff Cohen • Editor Houston Chronicle