New Faces, Renewed Commitment


With this issue, Carlton Carl becomes the CEO and executive publisher of The Texas Observer. Working with executive editor Jake Bernstein and publisher Charlotte McCann, Carlton will oversee the editorial content and the business side of our venerable magazine.

A native of Houston and longtime resident of Austin who recently returned to Texas after 25 years in Washington, D.C., Carlton is a graduate of Columbia College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He has reported for the Houston Chronicle and The New York Times, as well as freelancing for other publications.

His deep experience in Texas Democratic electoral politics and state and federal government includes stints as a Texas gubernatorial press secretary, chief of staff to a speaker of the Texas House, director of tax information for the Texas comptroller, press secretary to a Texas member of Congress, and campaign manager or media consultant in numerous Texas local, state, and federal campaigns.

Most recently he worked in nonprofit advocacy as vice president, media affairs and policy and strategy, for the American Association for Justice (formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America).

The Observer has also added a new managing editor to replace the outgoing yet still-taciturn David Pasztor. Brad Tyer—”stylish writer, intrepid reporter, experienced editor” (if he does say so himself)—has returned to Texas after spending five years as editor of the Missoula Independent in Montana. Longtime Observer readers will remember the Houston native as a former contributor to the magazine and a great talent. Among his many responsibilities, Brad will be attempting to liven up the back of the book.

Expect new and exciting arts and culture coverage in the magazine in the months ahead. Expect the Observer to become bigger, better, bolder, stronger, and even more influential, too.

As we witness increasing consolidation of media ownership into fewer and fewer corporate hands, newsgathering and dissemination of information of public importance is being supplanted by the quest for greater profits. That makes independent voices like the Observer more urgently needed than ever.

Those alternative voices need to be louder and more eloquent. That we will be. We will expand circulation and reach to deliver more groundbreaking investigative reporting that exposes injustice—always a hallmark of the Observer, though rare in the daily news media.

We will savor and report even more on the political combat that is special sport in Texas. We will demand more openness and transparency in government at every level. We will illuminate more complex issues of public and social policy. We will celebrate works of charity and courage. We will explore important cultural landmarks and trends.

And we will do it all with renewed and amplified clarity, vigor, and humor. With your help.

Our ambition is to take the Observer into more homes, more offices, more schools, more libraries, and more public policy discussions. It will require the increased support of our readers. Your subscription renewals, gift subscriptions, advertising, and financial contributions make possible the work we have been doing for 53 years.

We have just passed the first anniversary of the death of Molly Ivins, our legendary former editor and columnist. We will miss her always, as we know you will. Her spirit has and will continue to guide us in what we do. Please remember Molly by remembering her beloved Texas Observer.