The Rivard Report welcomed Beth Frerking to the position of editor-in-chief on Monday as co-founder Robert Rivard transitioned to the role of publisher of the growing nonprofit news organization.
Development Director Jenna Price Mallette, meanwhile, has been promoted to chief operating officer, overseeing advertising and marketing, business and individual membership, community engagement events, and other business functions.
Both Frerking and Mallette will report to Rivard.
“Beth and I will spend her first morning on the job observing the San Antonio River Authority’s celebration of its Thiess International Riverprize at the Pearl Amphitheater,” Rivard said. “It’s the perfect San Antonio experience for someone who returns to Texas after a 30-year career in Washington, D.C.”
Frerking, who most recently served as editor-in-chief of The National Law Journal in the nation’s capital, was selected from a field of dozens of candidates in a months-long national search by the Rivard Report search committee, which included Rivard and four members of the nonprofit news website’s board of directors.
“There is a real sense of momentum among all of us on the board and the staff,” Board Chairman Richard Schlosberg said. “The Rivard Report seems ideally suited to chart San Antonio’s continuing growth and development and to cover the people and organizations working to build a more equitable and healthy community where all share in the prosperity.”
Rivard will continue his weekly column at the Rivard Report, which he co-founded as a blog with wife Monika Maeckle in 2012. Iris Dimmick, the organization’s first employee, continues as managing editor and reporter.
“Iris has been the glue of this organization for five years, and the real spirit of our newsroom, an enormous accomplishment for someone in her first professional journalism job,” Rivard said.
Frerking will preside over a growing editorial staff. Additions this year include Shari Biediger covering business, Iris Gonzalez covering tech and entrepreneurship, Roseanna Garza covering community health, and starting next week, Nicholas Frank covering arts and culture. Jeffrey Sullivan was promoted from intern to full-time reporter in August. Writing coach Wendy Lane Cook and Data Director Emily Royall also joined the staff this year.
Click here to see a full editorial staff roster.
“It’s good to be on the ground in San Antonio and oversee coverage of critical issues facing the city in all its aspects,” Frerking said. “I’m lucky to land here with a hungry staff that started under Bob’s strong leadership, and with a board and donors so engaged in civic life. I especially look forward to meeting with city and state officials, and leaders from every walk of city life. It’s good to be home in South Texas.”
The Rivard Report reorganized in late 2015 as a 501(c)3, and shortly thereafter named its seven-member board of directors. It now employs 12 staff and contract journalists and a three-person business team led by Mallette.
“We have an incredibly collaborative and passionate business team that is dedicated to supporting the Rivard Report’s mission and the work of our editorial colleagues,” Mallette said. “We are all excited and eager to build on the organization’s momentum and explore additional partnership and support opportunities in our community.”
“Jenna leads our high performing business team that I call ‘Team Tiger,’” Rivard said. “Jenna, Advertising Director Katy Silva, and Membership Coordinator Mason Stark all three are Trinity grads.”
Frerking also served as one of the early editors at Politico, which began publication in early 2007. Frerking joined Politico one week before its launch, and was an assistant managing editor when she left to join The National Law Journal in 2013.
Frerking comes from a pioneer family in Seguin and is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Journalism, where she served as editor of The Daily Texan.
Frank, a former Milwaukee Journal Sentinel arts writer, is both arts journalist and practicing artist as well as curator, exhibition organizer, and author of his whimsical arts blog, Nicholas Frank Public Library. He spent two months living and working in San Antonio earlier this year as an international art fellow-in-residence at Artpace.
Frank becomes the Rivard Report’s first full-time arts and culture reporter on staff, covering performing arts, major exhibitions, museums, festivals, and artist profiles. He also will write about the role of the arts in education and society and explore stories that reflect the city and region’s unique cultures and qualities.
In assuming the new title of publisher, Rivard will oversee all operations of the organization, focusing on development of the membership base, foundation and philanthropic giving, and continued growth in advertising revenue. He will continue to help organize and present civic engagement events.
With these shifts in the leadership structure comes another significant transformation. The board of directors agreed at its Sept. 21 meeting to make a long-anticipated name change for the Rivard Report, one intended to reflect the website’s steady growth and its expanded community mission. That new name has not yet been selected.