Brian Sweany Named Editor in Chief of Texas Monthly

Once upon a time, Brian Sweany worked at D Magazine. Peace and harmony reigned. All in the land rejoiced. Then, in 2005, all hell broke loose and he left us to go work at Texas Monthly. There was gnashing of teeth, rending of clothes, and much wailing. Now, through shrewd political maneuvering and some old-fashioned blackmailing (just guessing), he has risen to assume the top editorial spot at the revered magazine. You can read the entire release, below.

Here is one thing I learned about Brian from the release: he was born on Texas Independence Day. [cue cry of bald eagle, followed by a steer’s moo] Also in the release, an Emmis honcho refers to Brian’s “gentlemanly grace and good humor.” Kidding aside, that is exactly what I think of when I hear Brian’s name. He’s talented, smart. Sure. But he really is a gentleman.

Emmis made the right call on this one. The magazine is in good hands.

Austin…Emmis Publishing has named Brian D. Sweany as Editor-in-Chief of Texas Monthly. Sweany began his career at Texas Monthly as an intern in 1996 and worked his way up to become senior executive editor. The award-winning magazine has chronicled life in contemporary Texas since 1973. The nationally recognized authority on life in the state, it has won 13 National Magazine Awards.

“I am honored to be named the editor in chief of Texas Monthly, where I first fell in love with magazine journalism,” Sweany said. “Since its founding in 1973 by Michael R. Levy, Texas Monthly has set the highest standards for long-form narrative storytelling—and it will continue to do so. Our commitment to covering all aspects of life in Texas remains at the core of our mission, and the future holds exciting opportunities for us in the realms of digital journalism and live events. As a native Texan who has traveled to every corner of this state, I am thrilled to edit one of the most respected magazines in the industry in one of the most dynamic states in the country.”

A native Texan who was born on Texas Independence Day, Sweany was raised in Plano. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of North Texas, in Denton, and a master’s degree in English literature from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Over the past two decades, he has covered all aspects of life in Texas, from sports and politics to food and music. Sweany has served in a variety of leadership roles at TM over the years, including director of the magazine’s political coverage, editor of special projects in charge of events, and digital editor responsible for helping rethink the magazine’s web strategy. In May 2009 he edited “Still Life,” by Skip Hollandsworth, which won the magazine’s first-ever National Magazine Award for feature writing, and he has edited numerous stories that have won awards from the City and Regional Magazine Association and the Texas Institute of Letters.

“Brian’s knowledge of this state is rivaled only by his love for it,” said Elynn J. Russell, president of Texas Monthly. “This is a match made in heaven, or, as we call it, Texas.”

“A consummate writer’s editor, Brian not only grasps the changing nature of his native state, but how to make stories from Texas Monthly live beyond the printed page,” said Mary Melton, editorial director of Emmis Publishing. “Leading one of the most talented magazine staffs in the country with his gentlemanly grace and good humor, Brian will be writing an exciting new chapter in the history of this legendary magazine.” The appointment of Sweany is effective immediately, said Melton.

Emmis Publishing, a division of Emmis Communications, owns Texas Monthly as well as the city and regional titles Atlanta, Cincinnati, Indianapolis Monthly, Los Angeles, and Orange Coast.