Photo: Mark Mulligan, Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle Managing Editor Vernon Loeb — who led the newsroom through Hurricane Harvey and an investigation of the state’s special education program — has been named politics editor of The Atlantic in Washington, D.C.
The Chronicle’s coverage for Harvey in 2017 and the special education investigation in 2016 were named finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. He also oversaw then-metro columnist Lisa Falkenberg’s Pulitzer Prize-winning columns and her nomination as a Pulitzer finalist.
“His departure is a huge loss for the newsroom, and for me personally,” Executive Editor Nancy Barnes said Thursday in an emailed announcement to the editorial staff. “”As we all know, Vernon is a relentless champion for the newsroom and for journalists.”
Loeb, 62, joined the Chronicle in 2014 from the Washington Post, where he had been metro editor.
“I’ll never be prouder of anything than I am of the way the Chronicle newsroom covered Hurricane Harvey with such skill, determination and commitment,” he said. “It was an absolutely breathtaking tribute to journalism, and the power of a great newspaper.”
Loeb, also a marathon runner, said he has come to love Houston during his nearly five years here.
“I have so many fond memories of running the Buffalo Bayou, carousing around Montrose, watching the Astros, eating, editing, and savoring the Chronicle every morning,” he said. “To see the city struggle back from Harvey so heroically and then, as a gift from the Astros, win the World Series, is unforgettable.”
Loeb will direct a team of reporters and editors covering national politics, Congress, the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department and the intelligence agencies, Barnes said.
“My goals at the Atlantic can be boiled down to two pretty basic things: Making sure the writers feel motivated and appreciated, and helping them find the most ambitious stories to tell in Washington and across the country,” he said.
Loeb began his career as a reporter at the Philadelphia Inquirer, then left to become a reporter at the Washington Post, where he covered City Hall, the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency.
He left the post to take an editing job at the Los Angeles Times. He then returned to the Inquirer as an editor before moving back to the Washington Post.