Handoff in Houston  | American Journalism Review
 AJR  The Beat
From AJR,   June 2002

Handoff in Houston   

Jeff Cohen, editor of the Albany Times Union, takes the helm at the Houston Chronicle, as Editor Jack Loftis retires.

By Kathryn S. Wenner
Kathryn S. Wenner, a former AJR associate editor, is a copy editor at the Washington Post.     

Jeff Cohen, editor of the Albany Times Union since 1994, returns to his hometown to lead the Houston Chronicle, the only surviving newspaper of the three he grew up reading. He succeeds Editor Jack Loftis, who retires in July after 15 years in the job and 37 years at the paper. "It's really just an honor to be able to give something back to the community that nurtured me," says Cohen, 47. He began his career in 1976 as a sportswriter at the now-defunct San Antonio Light. Loftis, 67, who is also associate publisher, became editor after Hearst bought the Chronicle in 1987. He says he's proud of having helped transform it into a "more objective" source of news than it had been under the previous owner. One thing he'd like to do over: the Enron story, where the paper reacted too slowly.