Leigh Munsil, an editor at CNN Politics, has been named the next editor-in-chief of the nonprofit San Antonio Report, succeeding founding Editor Robert Rivard.

Publisher and CEO Angie Mock said Munsil, who is currently based in Washington, D.C., will take up her appointment in November. Her hiring follows a seven-month national search and completes the third major step in a transition plan put in place by Rivard and the board of directors in 2019.

The first was a change in name from the Rivard Report to the San Antonio Report in August 2020. That was followed by the October hiring of Mock, the longtime CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio and a former member of the San Antonio Report board, as the nonprofit’s first full-time business leader.

“With Leigh at the helm and the strong editorial team Bob has built, I couldn’t be more bullish about the future of the Report and our growth trajectory,” Mock said. “It’s an exciting time for community journalism in San Antonio and the region.”

Munsil will report to Mock and oversee a staff of 15 full-time journalists. Rivard will continue to write an opinion column and moderate public policy events. He will retain his seat as a board officer.

“The hiring of Leigh Munsil as our new editor-in-chief is the third major step” in the San Antonio Report’s transition plan, said board Chair A.J. Rodriguez, executive vice president of the nonprofit think tank Texas 2036. “As we eagerly anticipate the celebration of our 10th anniversary in the new year, we can now look forward with great optimism to the next decade with Angie and Leigh leading the way.”

Munsil holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication from Arizona State University, where she also studied Spanish and served as editor-in-chief of the university’s daily newspaper, The State Press. 

“I can’t wait to get back to Texas!” Munsil said. “My first reporting job out of college was a year at The Dallas Morning News, where I covered everything from wildfires to the Super Bowl, the Texas Rangers’ run at the World Series, and even the Texas State Fair.”

After a decade in political journalism, Munsil said she started to dream about what local journalism can and should be and that’s what led her to the San Antonio Report. 

“Local journalism shouldn’t be a charity you support, it has to be a community service you can’t live without,” she said. “Great local journalism enables its readers to be better citizens, better neighbors, and better people.”

San Antonio is headed into a crucial period of growth and change while keeping a history and an identity that is uniquely its own, Munsil added. “I can’t wait to be a part of it.”

Munsil has held staff writer, reporter, or editor positions with The Dallas Morning News, POLITICO, The Blaze, and CNN Politics, and most recently has been working as editor of CNN’s The Point with Chris Cillizza in Washington. 

The San Antonio Report is a local online news enterprise with a year-round calendar of civic engagement events and a full-time staff of 19 journalists and nonprofit professionals. San Antonio CityFest, one of the organization’s signature events, will be held for the fourth consecutive year on Oct. 13-16.

Rivard and his wife, communications executive and journalist Monika Maeckle, founded the news organization in 2012 as the Rivard Report, a blog that quickly grew into a local news outlet covering San Antonio and surrounding areas. It was reorganized in 2015 as a 501(c)(3). 

“It’s been enormously rewarding for Monika and me to watch the growth and evolution of the Report from its early days as a blog to its present place in San Antonio as a mission-driven nonprofit news and civic engagement enterprise,” Rivard said. “We will watch with pride as Angie and Leigh and the team continue to grow this community service.”

Shari Biediger

Shari Biediger is the development beat reporter for the San Antonio Report.