When Sam Kinch Jr., George Phenix and John Rogers started Texas Weekly in 1984, they were thinking political people in the state needed a regular dose of the kind of insider news they’d get if they were at the right lunch tables in Austin every single day of the week.
It worked. Sure, you could be a wise and well-connected person, pretty much up to speed and pretty much at the right tables all the time, but there was still something in every issue that had escaped your attention.
Not knowing stuff is the worst, right? Texas Weekly was addictive.
By the time Kinch sold his interest to me in 1998, Rogers had passed away. Phenix, an old political and journalism hand I had known only in passing, remained half-owner. George and I got along fine, irritating each other just enough to keep things interesting, liking each other enough to make it a fun ride.
One big turn was taking that six-page paper newsletter online, ending a great relationship with our printer, Bob Thomas, and a thorny relationship with the bulk mail umpires at the United States Postal Service. George sold me his half, retired, and ran off with his sweetheart to a quiet spot in the East where they make their own wine. Really.
Texas Weekly, as you know, came along with me as a part of The Texas Tribune when we began in 2009, and now it’s time for another big turn. The last issue of Texas Weekly, as it's been compiled and distributed in recent years, hits inboxes next week.
The Weekly has moved faster than its name for years now. Even before the birth of the Tribune, it had daily news clips and regular updates on news between the issues that sprouted online every Friday morning. More recently, The Blast — the daily afternoon newsletter by TW Editor John Reynolds and others on our political team — has met the need for a sped-up insiders’ fix on what’s happening in Texas government and politics.
John is doing today what Sam and George and John were doing at the outset, and what I tried to do in between: to keep you up to date on what’s going on in the political world in an entertaining, nonpartisan way — the way you’d get it if you had lunch with a political friend in Austin every day.
So now it’s got a new name that reflects its frequency. It lands in your email, so you don’t have to mess with passwords. It’s daily. It still has the boldface names and the political news you’ve counted on for years.
Stick with us. It’ll be a hoot.