Most readers probably do not recognize the name, but you know her good work because you read it every day. Wendy Lane Cook has put her editing touch on just about everything the San Antonio Report has published since she joined the team in 2017. So it came as welcome news and no surprise to her colleagues when Cook was recently promoted to managing editor.
I asked various newsroom colleagues to describe Cook in one or two words. “She’s the glue,” said Senior Reporter Brendan Gibbons. “GOAT, greatest of all time,” added Senior Reporter Iris Dimmick, our longest-serving employee. “Revered,” said Photo Editor Scott Ball. “Simply the best,” said Jackie Wang, city and county government reporter. “Fastidious,” said JJ Velasquez, The Curve writer and audience engagement editor.
All true. It’s well past time to introduce her to readers. My own brief description of Cook: “talented, experienced, steady.”
Cook and her husband, Monty, are both longtime journalists with national and international experience. Monty left the business more than a decade ago and today serves as the chief operations officer for Avue Technologies Corp., a software company based in Washington state. After living and working back East, the Cooks, including Emma and Katie, their daughters, moved to San Antonio, Wendy’s hometown. That’s how we first met.
Emma and Katie are now attending college, while Wendy and Monty recently downsized from their Far North neighborhood to a Tobin Hill townhouse near the Pearl.
Cook began her career as an undergraduate history student covering sports for the daily newspaper at Duke University. Women were still working their way into sports journalism, that most male-dominated corner of the business, but Cook proved her mettle. After joining the Associated Press, she worked in bureaus in West Texas, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and at AP headquarters in New York.
Her background covering collegiate sports led her to win assignments from the AP to cover Olympic games in South Korea, France, Spain, and Norway. In between, there were assignments to cover the NBA Finals, men’s and women’s Final Fours, and the World Series.
Cook later joined the Washington Post as an assistant sports editor. She served as the newspaper’s onsite editor and manager of an eight-person staff at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.
Cook went on hiatus from the business to focus on family, but she began her work here on a part-time basis, and then came on board as deputy managing editor. It didn’t take long before she became the Report’s go-to editor, and as two other newsroom leaders came and went, it was Cook who served as “the glue,” to use the word offered by Gibbons.
With that kind of experience and a keen worldview, Cook has turned her attention and her talents to producing quality local journalism in her hometown. With many younger journalists in the early years of their own careers, Cook’s confidence, steady hand, and ability to teach makes her the ideal managing editor. It’s unsurprising that Senior Reporter Shari Biediger called her the San Antonio Report’s “mentor/leader.”
Cook’s promotion is part of a bigger plan. All young enterprises must transition beyond their founders, which in the case of this news site, means me and Monika Maeckle, my wife. The pandemic delayed the plan, but not for long.
Last year we changed the name from the Rivard Report to the San Antonio Report, five years after turning nonprofit. Months later we announced the arrival of Angie Mock, our publisher and CEO. Cook’s promotion will be followed by the hiring of a fourth content editor. After recently hitting the reset button on a national search, we will renew efforts to recruit a new editor-in-chief. I’ll then serve as the Report’s lead columnist.
As we emerge from the pandemic the timing seems right to update readers on our news and to introduce Cook.
If you want to support the work of Cook and others at the San Antonio Report, these closing days of our annual Spring Membership Drive would be the ideal time to do so. We have earned a $10,000 matching fund from Valero Energy and are working hard on another from former board member Katy Flato and her husband Ted Flato. Securely donate now. We promise a great return on your investment.