Debbie Hiott, who started her career as summer intern at the Austin (Texas) American-Statesman, has been named managing editor of the newspaper.
Hiott took over as managing editor June 2, having been assistant managing editor for the past three years. She now is the paper’s second-highest ranking editor during a time when the newspaper industry tries to balance the needs of print and online readers.
“I’m fortunate because our staff has embraced the Web, and we’re reaching new readers who might never pick up the paper,” Hiott said. “At the same time, we want to keep pursuing the things that make a good newspaper, including investigative pieces and strong storytelling. Our readers hold us to a high standard.”
Hiott worked as an intern in 1990 while earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism at Southwest Texas State University, now called Texas State University-San Marcos. She later was hired as a full-time reporter and covered public safety, Hays and Travis counties, Austin City Hall and transportation.
She was part of the reporting team that broke stories in the late 1990s about money mismanagement at Capital Metro that resulted in the Legislature’s dismantling and reconfiguring of the agency’s board. Two key figures in an FBI investigation into the case went to prison.
Hiott became an assistant metro editor in 1999. She also has served as an assistant state editor, state editor and metro editor.
Editor Fred Zipp said Hiott is “the perfect leader for challenging times: smart, skilled, compassionate and comfortable with change.”