Management

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Chris Cobler

Publisher AND CEO

Chris Cobler is a longtime daily newspaper leader who started his career as a reporter in his hometown at the Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal and then worked at newspapers in Colorado, South Dakota and Texas. In Texas, he first served as managing editor of the Denton Record-Chronicle and later was editor and publisher of the Victoria Advocate. 

As editor, he led two newspapers to recognition as the best in the nation for their size. His newspapers have earned hundreds of state and national honors, including the Robert G. McGruder Award for Diversity Leadership. Cobler was the first Donald W. Reynolds Nieman Fellow for community journalism at Harvard University, where he studied the digital future of news and how to promote a constructive community conversation about changing demographics.
He is a recipient of the Texas Daily Newspaper Association Editorial Achievement Award for courage and commitment to open government; the Texas Press Association Frank W. Mayborn Award for Community Leadership; and a current board member and past president of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas.


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Trish Rodriguez Terrell

CHIEF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER

Trish Rodriguez Terrell has raised millions for nonprofits as a grant writer and development manager; created content marketing and thought leadership programs as a marketing director; and managed sales teams and account managers as a customer success director. But her first love is the newsroom, where she worked for nearly 20 years, and she is thrilled to come full circle by joining the Fort Worth Report as chief development officer. Her goal is to build a strong community of supporters and readers, who are invested in solutions-based journalism and want to participate in lively and meaningful conversations about Fort Worth.

Terrell began as a reporter for a regional Missouri newspaper, covering everything that moved in eight rural counties, and moved on to reporter roles in Cincinnati and Dallas before joining the Fort Worth Star-Telegram as a features writer. Later, as arts editor and then features editor, she led teams of writers and editors covering culture, arts, health, and human interest topics, and was invested in developing and mentoring new voices to tell the stories of our multifaceted community.  She then moved on to a successful marketing and fundraising career, raising millions for clients including a regional food bank, an art museum, an academic medical center, and a youth development organization.

She has also owned a restaurant in Cozumel and lived in the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas, and can make both a mean margarita and a decent chicken souse. Her journalism degree is from the University of Missouri.


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Thomas R. Martinez

Managing editor

Committed to strong community journalism, Thomas R. Martinez brings more than 25 years of experience as a writer and editor primarily at newspapers in his home state of Colorado and more recently in Texas. He believes strongly in the five core principles of journalism, as outlined by the Ethical Journalism Network: truth and accuracy; independence; fairness and impartiality; humanity; and accountability.

As an editor, Martinez helped lead coverage on several high impact journalism projects, including examining the exploding senior citizen population in one of Denver’s largest neighboring counties; explaining to readers the difficulties of living with disabilities through the eyes of a reporter and community members who were disabled; using the anniversary of 19 migrant deaths as a springboard to explore the complicated issues of the border and racial issues in south Texas; and examining, through the lens of solutions-based journalism, the socioeconomic disparities that Hurricane Harvey left it in its wake.

Martinez was named to the Dow Jones News Fund editing internship program and learned from the great Ed Trayes at Temple University, starting as a summer intern at the Daily Item in Sunbury, Pennsylvania. He later was named to the Newspaper Association of America Breakthrough Program, which placed up-and-coming young journalists with veteran industry leaders. Martinez was paired with then-longtime Seattle Times managing editor Alex MacLeod. Earlier in his career, he also worked as a sports editor in Colorado, where his sections were named the best in the nation and were consistently honored in Associated Press Sports Editors contests. 

Martinez is an award-winning columnist who brings a personal touch to tough topics like suicide and mental health. A disabled Army veteran, he cares deeply about veterans’ rights and belongs to the Disabled American Veterans organization.


News staff

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Robert Francis

Business editor

Robert Francis is a Fort Worth native and
journalist who has extensive experience
covering business and technology locally,
nationally and internationally.

A longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business
Press, he is also a former president of the local
Society of Professional Journalists. For many
years, he freelanced for a variety of newspapers,
weeklies and magazines, including inflight
publication American Way and trade
publications such as BrandWeek.

A graduate of Texas Christian University,
Robert also took graduate level courses in media
at the University of Maryland. He has held a
variety of writing and editing positions at
News-Texan and IDG Publications. During his
career he has received several awards from
organizations such as the Texas Press
Association and the Dallas Press Club.
Active in the community, Robert has been
involved with several theater groups in the area. Read Bob’s stories.


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Marcheta Fornoff

Arts & Culture reporter/editor

For just over seven years Marcheta Fornoff performed the high wire act of producing a live morning news program on Minnesota Public Radio. She led a small, but nimble team to cover everything from politics to pop culture and breaking news.

In March of 2020, as the novel coronavirus was spreading throughout the country, Fornoff and her team created “COVID-19: Hard Questions, Real Answers,” a two-night special that aired on 350 radio stations nationwide. That same spring, Fornoff helped direct live coverage of the protests that followed the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and produced a series of conversations on the future of policing and public safety.

When she wasn’t filling in on weekend reporting shifts or talking to high school and college students about building a career in journalism, you could find her sitting in dark theaters scratching out movie reviews for the Cube Critics podcast.

Fornoff aims to make arts coverage that is accessible and is eager to hear your story ideas. Email her your tips at marcheta.fornoff@fortworthreport.orgRead Marcheta’s stories.


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Jacob Sanchez

ENTERPRISE Reporter

Jacob Sanchez strives to have his reporting reflect his community and needs of residents. He pursued journalism because he wanted to keep people informed. Sanchez — a West Texan who earned a political science degree from St. Edward’s University — cut his teeth at two nationally known Austin-based publications, The Texas Tribune and the Texas Observer, and his college newspaper, Hilltop Views, before joining the Temple Daily Telegram in 2016.

At the Telegram, Sanchez expanded the newspaper’s politics coverage by diving deeper into voting patterns, focusing on local issues and scoring interviews with state and national leaders, including former Texas House Speaker Joe Straus and Georgia politician Stacey Abrams. He brought underrepresented voices of Bell County to the forefront of his reporting.

His coverage of local government, education and politics earned multiple awards from the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors. Those honors include first place in business reporting, first place in deadline writing and Star Breaking News Report of the Year from the TAPME. Read Jacob’s stories.


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Kristen Barton

ENTERPRISE Reporter

Armed with a degree in journalism from Texas Tech University, Kristen Barton returned to her hometown, Longview, Texas, to work as an education reporter at the Longview News-Journal. Many of her stories focused on holding local school boards and administrations accountable to taxpayers in parents in that role, but she also broke the story about hair discrimination at a nearby school district, which later gained statewide attention. She also earned a School Bell award for stories on a local district converting all its campuses to charter schools.

In college, Barton worked as a features writer and news editor at The Daily Toreador, the student newspaper. She also earned a graduate certificate in advanced digital and social media from Texas Tech.
Barton has received awards from the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors for a series on local graduate profiles highlighting students overcoming adversity to graduate and for coverage of a May 2019 storm in Longview that left severe damage.

When she’s not reporting, Barton enjoys reading, yoga and trying to learn her abuela’s recipes. Read Kristen’s reporting.


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Alexis Allison

Healthcare Reporter

A farm girl from Amarillo, Alexis Allison spent her childhood bottle-feeding Holsteins and hearing medical jargon at the dinner table, courtesy of her physician parents. As she grew, she understood how easily she could access health information: If her friends felt sick, they Googled their symptoms, but if she felt sick, she called her mom. Allison thinks accurate, reader-friendly health reporting provides similar knowledge to people who don’t have doctors in the family.

Her reporting is trauma-informed, which means it feels safe to talk to her about what you’ve been through, and she’ll write your story with as much of your input as possible. Allison earned a bachelor’s in creative writing at Pepperdine University and a master’s in data journalism at the Missouri School of Journalism, but her most formative education took place in China and Iraq. After living abroad, she taught high school English in Los Angeles. Her reporting has appeared in the Columbia Missourian and The Kansas City Beacon. 

When she’s not in the newsroom or meeting someone for tea, you’ll find her jogging along the Trinity River or reading a dystopian novel. Send an owl at your leisure, because Allison would like to know about how the places you live, work, learn and play shape the way you feel.

Allison’s position is supported by Texas Health Resources. Read Alexis’ stories.


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Cristian ArguetaSoto

Community engagement journalist

Cristian is a May 2021 graduate of Texas Christian University. At TCU, ArguetaSoto served as staff photographer at TCU360 and later as its visual editor, overseeing other photojournalists. A Fort Worth native, he began work at Fort Worth Report May 17.

Cristian’s position is funded by the Rainwater Charitable Foundation. Read Cristian’s stories.


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Haley Samsel

Environmental reporter

Haley Samsel serves as the environmental reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Her coverage is made possible by a two-year grant from the Marilyn Brachman Hoffman Foundation. Until late 2021, she covered environmental issues across North Texas for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in a position supported by the national nonprofit Report for America. 

Haley grew up in Plano and previously worked for a Dallas magazine company, where she covered everything from cybersecurity to home medical equipment as an associate editor for several trade publications. Before graduating from American University in Washington, D.C., she reported on Capitol Hill for The Texas Tribune and interned for NPR’s education desk, USA Today College, The Investigative Reporting Workshop and The Washington Monthly. She was the editor-in-chief of her student newspaper, The Eagle. Haley has been based in Fort Worth since mid-2020 and is excited about all the stories still left to tell across the region. Read Haley’s stories.


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Rachel Behrndt

GOVERNMENT Accountability reporter

Rachel Behrndt is a government accountability reporter for the Fort Worth Report in collaboration with KERA. She is a recent graduate of the University of Missouri where she majored in Journalism and Political Science. She believes journalism is at its best when it holds power to account and provides a service to the community.

While in college, Rachel contributed to several Missouri publications including the Columbia Missourian and NBC affiliate KOMU 8 News. Out of the office, Rachel enjoys baking and Pilates classes. She would love to hear about how the decisions made by city and county leadership impact you, feel free to reach out any time. Read Rachel’s stories.


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Seth Bodine

business reporter

Seth Bodine is business reporter at the Fort Worth Report. Previously, he covered everything from feral hogs to the price of food as an agriculture and rural issues reporter in Oklahoma for the public radio station, KOSU, as a Report For America fellow. 

His work has been picked up by dozens of publications, including U.S. News & World Report, NPR and The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting.

Bodine graduated with bachelor’s degrees in journalism and English creative writing from Colorado State University and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Read Seth’s stories.


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Emily Wolf

government accountability reporter

Emily Wolf is a local government accountability reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Originally from Round Rock, Texas, she spent several years at the University of Missouri-Columbia majoring in investigative journalism before coming back to her home state. 

She was previously a local government reporter at The Kansas City Beacon through the Report For America program. While in KC, she exposed mismanagement within the city’s Land Bank, prompting internal action and administrative change within the institution. 

In college, she worked as a state government reporter for the Columbia Missourian, covering child care, agriculture, voting rights and everything in between. When not attending local city council meetings, Wolf is busy planning her future goat farm and brainstorming how to make the two work in tandem. Read Emily’s stories.


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Sandra Sadek

Reporter

A first-generation American and the eldest daughter of French-Lebanese immigrants, Sandra believes accurate information should be free and fair for all. Growing up, she spent most of her time finding and explaining complex information to her parents. Becoming a journalist and telling stories felt like a natural next step for her.  

Graduating from Texas State University with a major in journalism and a minor in international relations, Sandra reported from Central Texas, South Texas, West Texas, and Washington, D.C., before making her move to the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Her work has appeared in The Katy Times and Community Impact Newspaper. She also wrote for her student paper The University Star for three years.

She has covered major student protests relating to social issues, local politics, and elections, and investigated hidden university agreements with third-party organizations and the U.S. military. She also wrote narrative international pieces relevant to current D.C. politics as well as collected SEO data for the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Press Center as an intern.
Sandra is fluent in English and French and is conversational in Arabic.

She has traveled all over the world, including Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States. In her free time, she enjoys training in martial arts or trying out new cuisines. Read Sandra’s stories.


2021 Summer Fellows


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David Moreno

Multimedia specialist

Born and raised in Dallas, David Moreno is a broadcast journalism student at the University of North Texas. David has covered local arts, politics, and culture in Denton, and notably highlighted the effects COVID had on local businesses during the early months of the pandemic.

At UNT, he has worked as a reporter and anchor with North Texas Television. He has also interned with Dallas Business Journal, where he published multiple data lists in the DBJ “Book of Lists” in 2017.

In his free time, David enjoys shooting photography, collecting vinyl records, or visiting art museums in the DFW area. Read David’s stories.


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Lonyae Coulter

Reporter

Lonyae Coulter is an upcoming senior at Texas Christian University from Kansas City, Missouri. Lonyae is majoring in journalism and minoring in writing. At TCU, she has served as the Executive Editor of The Skiff (TCU 360), the official student media newspaper. In previous years, Lonyae was the Associate Editor and Page Designer for The Skiff. Along with that she served as a Line Editor and Reporter for TCU360. She has covered stories regarding Generation Z in the Workplace, COVID, and other stories regarding life on TCU’s campus.  

She’s also done broadcast journalism in the past during her time in high school and anchored on TCU News Now for her News Production class in Fall 2021. 

In her free time, she likes to visit museums in the DFW area, travel, and read. Read Lonyae’s stories.

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Chongyang Zhang

Reporter

Chongyang was born in Shenyang, China, raised in Singapore and has been living in the U.S. since 2015.

He graduated with a journalism degree in 2021 from the University of Texas at Arlington, where he served as a news reporter and editor for the school’s student-run newspaper.

He’s constantly moving. But he’s found a sense of home in local journalism, where he can build relationships with community members.

He has covered everything from local politics to animal welfare to the interfaith community.

He speaks Mandarin and Spanish and is learning Danish. In his free time, he enjoys a good book over tea and loves to travel. When he’s not traveling, he’s thinking about traveling. Read Chongyang’s stories.


Business team

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John Greer

Audience and membership director

John is a seasoned digital marketer who has led teams specializing in search engine optimization, content strategy, web analytics, and user experience. He comes to the Fort Worth Report after over eight years at digital marketing agency PMG. Prior to that, he worked out of the Fort Worth Stockyards for the digital agency Range Online Media (iProspect) for nine years.

Over his agency career, he has worked across industries with large brands such as Travelocity, Consumer Reports, Toshiba, and Michaels, as well as smaller organizations such as Fort Worth Opera. He attended the University of Texas at Austin for his undergraduate marketing degree and Texas A&M for his graduate degree in management information systems (MIS). 

A long-time resident of Fort Worth, he enjoys gardening in his backyard, playing guitar, and reading any kind of sci-fi or history book he can get his hands on.


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Jodye Newton

Director of corporate and community relations

A seasoned business development executive with deep roots in Fort Worth, Jodye Newton joins Fort Worth Report’s leadership team as director of corporate and community relations. Jodye excels at building and maintaining business relationships, and she looks forward to developing and nurturing new relationships and renewing old ones as she creates new partnerships for our nonprofit news organization.

A proud Texas Christian University graduate, Jodye moved to Fort Worth for college, and never left. At TCU, she was a founding member and president of the Black Alumni Alliance; served as vice president of the TCU National Alumni Executive Board; and was president of her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta.

She began her career with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, starting as an intern and serving 27 years in roles including account executive and advertising marketing director. She most recently worked at the Fort Worth Business Press, as the Director of Diversity & Inclusion and Business Development. Jodye is very involved in the community; among her volunteer work, she is a new board member of Cancer Care Services. 


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Jamese Branch

marketing and development coordinator

Jamese Branch is a recent Radio-Television-Film graduate from the University of Texas at Austin. During her time at UT Austin, she interned for KLRU TV and produced several short films. She has also worked at Rooster Teeth, a film production company based in Austin. Before joining the Fort Worth Report team, she worked with the City of Arlington’s communications department. As a Fort Worth native, she is excited to support local journalism and continue working in media. In her free time, you can find her doing yoga and spending time with her cat Aries. She started January 3 at the Fort Worth Report.