To the Trib's big-city readers: We hear you. We know you want more coverage of the issues affecting you, from poverty and population growth to transportation and infrastructure. Which is why we've hired one of the best reporters in the business to give it to you.
Brandon Formby, who has covered criminal justice, local government and transportation in more than a decade at The Dallas Morning News, will be the Tribune's first urban affairs reporter, a Dallas-based position headquartered out of the newsroom of our esteemed public media partner, KERA. When he's not telling stories crucial to his hometown, he'll be hitting the pavement, giving readers across Texas perspective on the challenges facing the state's major metropolitan areas — six of which make the list of the 20 largest in the country, more than in any other state.
Watchdog journalism is Formby's game. He has spurred a public transit agency to tighten its contracting practices, used open records to disprove officials' claims about a toll road project, unraveled the personal and political forces that prompted a North Texas mayor to kill her daughter and herself, and produced brilliant coverage of the West explosion in real-time. Remember the tale of former state Rep. Linda Harper-Brown and the Mercedes? That was Formby.
There's no question Formby's a kickass journalist; D Magazine even named him the city's 2016 reporter of the year. But speaking with 13 years of experience, he's an even better colleague.
He’s a trivia nut. He hasn’t missed an Oscars telecast since the 1990s. And while he agrees The Sopranos was great, he thinks it unfairly overshadowed Six Feet Under. Simply put, he's a perfect fit for our quirky Tribune crew.
Please join me in welcoming Formby, who starts with us Oct. 3. You can start following him on Twitter here — and look forward to terrific and important coverage out of Dallas and the state's other urban centers.