When I made the switch from newspapers to magazines about a decade into my career, I was fascinated by the more-complex logistics involved in producing weekly and monthly publications. Photographs and illustrations and page design were of course far more important than at a daily, as were the staggered deadlines on which the magazines’ sections were produced. I visited a huge, modern printing plant in upstate New York and was especially impressed by the binding operation, in which various chunks of each magazine bounced along on what looked like a series of moving clotheslines.
The first magazine for which I worked, TIME, employed a team of coordinators to keep all the editorial parts of its operation running smoothly. For that task at Texas Monthly, we employ Anna Walsh.
Anna joined us in 2019 from the Washington Post, serving as our managing editor. Initially, she focused on our print magazine: organizing assignments and deadlines months ahead of each issue’s publication date and overseeing our fact-checking and copy-editing teams. She handled those jobs superbly. And then, without being asked, she took on more.
The ambition and volume of our storytelling has grown on our website and in podcasts, videos, books, special-interest publications, and live events—and many of those pursuits have benefited from Anna’s superb organizational skills, keen judgment of stories and talent, and grace under pressure.
In recognition of her expanded responsibilities, I’m pleased to announce Anna’s promotion to a newly created role: director of editorial operations, across all our storytelling platforms. That means, among other things, that even more of the staff will get to experience Anna’s enthusiasm for classical music and baking—and will get to meet her curious cats, who regularly entertain us during Zoom meetings when she’s working from home.
To support Anna, we’re also promoting Alicia Maria Meier to the newly created position of assistant managing editor. Alicia joined us sixteen months ago as a copy editor, after overseeing international programs for Columbia University School of the Arts. A self-described “language obsessive,” she’s fluent in Spanish and is so advanced in Catalan that she was awarded a prestigious grant to translate a novel from that language into English. The daughter of two veteran journalists in Washington, D.C., Alicia has relatives in Texas and, like many of us, got here as soon as she could.
You may recall that in late December, Texas Monthly acquired the acclaimed television program Texas Country Reporter. To promote collaboration between our staffs, I’m pleased to appoint a new video and events director, Melissa Reese, who will work closely with TCR founder Bob Phillips, his cohost and wife, Kelli Phillips, and the seven other talented members of their team.
We poached Melissa from the business side of Texas Monthly, where she led our brand studio, which produces print and video promotions for advertisers and other commercial clients. Born and reared in Dallas, she joined TM in 2017, after working for the University of Texas alumni association and, before that, for a nonprofit film-production organization. A fourth-generation Longhorn, Melissa studied video and journalism. She treasures a necklace with a quill pendant from her great-grandmother, who was one of the university’s early women journalism grads, in the class of 1926.
If you’re not already a fan of Texas Country Reporter, I hope you’ll check it out. You can go to TexasCountryReporter.com to learn when it airs on a TV station near you. I also hope you enjoy this issue of the magazine, which wouldn’t be possible without the behind-the-scenes work of Anna, Alicia, and their team.