Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report
Texas Monthly on Monday named journalist and longtime Rackspace executive Dan Goodgame its next editor-in-chief.
Goodgame, who also served on the Rivard Report board of directors from February 2016 to June 2018, had an illustrious journalism career that spanned three decades before becoming Rackspace's vice president of communications in 2008. Past roles include editor of Fortune Small Business magazine as well as White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief for Time magazine. He and Michael Duffy co-authored a book about the 41st U.S. president titled Marching in Place: The Status Quo Presidency of George Bush.
Goodgame will assume his role as Texas Monthly's top editor on Jan. 28, succeeding Rich Oppel. The 76-year-old Oppel is a longtime newspaperman who had a brief stint as the magazine's ombudsman before he took over as interim editor-in-chief in May for Tim Taliaferro, who reportedly played a part in a pay-for-play agreement to feature the Texan founder of dating app Bumble as its February 2018 cover story. Taliaferro continues to serve at the magazine as its Chief Innovation Officer.
The search for the magazine's eighth editor-in-chief lasted seven months.
“I know that Paul [Hobby, who purchased Texas Monthly in October 2016,] was looking for an experienced editor of strong character and ambitions," said Oppel, "and I think he’s found one.”
In a statement, Hobby said he had wanted to hire Goodgame for the past two years.
“The stars have now aligned, and I could not be more pleased. Dan is a proven editor, a decorated journalist, and an honest-to-goodness Rhodes scholar," Hobby said, referring to Goodgame's time studying international relations at Oxford University. "More importantly, he is a gentleman with a curious mind and poetry in his soul. This is a wonderful milestone in the history of Texas Monthly.”
Though Oppel has never met Goodgame, their knowledge of each other's work stems to the 1970s when they both held newspaper positions in Florida. Oppel was editor of the the Tallahassee Democrat in 1978 when Goodgame was part of a team of investigative reporters at the Miami Herald, he said.
"I watched his work," Oppel said. "He was very good."
Meanwhile, Windcrest-based managed cloud provider Rackspace hired Sally Cincu as vice president of communications in July. Cincu has been running the company's communications since then, with Goodgame reporting to her, company spokesman Brandon Brunson said. Goodgame's last day at Rackspace is Jan. 25, Brunson said.
Rackspace's executive team has undergone a major transformation since Joe Eazor became its CEO in May 2017. Rackspace was a publicly traded company in 2016 when it was purchased by the private equity firm Apollo Global Management. Then-CEO Taylor Rhodes' exit followed six months later along with several other department heads and considerable internal realignment. Eazor has installed at least a dozen new executives since taking the helm.
Goodgame did not respond to the Rivard Report's requests for comment. In a statement, the soon-to-be editor-in-chief of "the national magazine of Texas" said he is honored to join the magazine, which he has admired for 30 years.
“The magazine in print has long been the number one source for timely storytelling about Texas, and it has the opportunity to become just as indispensable online and through events that help bring its journalism to life," Goodgame said.
Oppel highlighted Goodgame's experience leading print-to-digital conversions, as readers migrated to the web. It's one of the primary reasons the magazine hired Taliaferro but an area in which Texas Monthly can still afford to grow, he said.
Oppel, the former editor of the Austin American-Statesman, will go back into retirement Feb. 7 after sending the March edition of the magazine to press. He said he believes Goodgame will first hear out the magazine's employees to determine the direction in which he'll take the publication.
“I think he’s in a listening mode, and I’m sure he’s got strong ideas," Oppel said. “I know that he’ll spend his initial weeks listening carefully to staff and understanding them before he announces any bold initiatives.”