FERN names Theodore Ross Editor-in-Chief

Theodore Ross, FERN’s new Editor-in-Chief

The Food & Environment Reporting Network announced today that Theodore Ross was named Editor-in-Chief, succeeding Samuel Fromartz who is stepping down as Editor-in-Chief more than 10 years after co-founding the news organization. Ross will be responsible for all editorial operations at FERN, including overseeing staff reporters and editors, media partnerships, all text and audio content, and new ventures.

Ross brings a wealth of experience in magazine and digital editing, long-form reporting, investigations, and television production. Most recently, he served as supervising producer on the HBO show, Game Theory with Bomani Jones, and before that, Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj, on Netflix, capping four years of work in television news shows. In an earlier role as an Executive Editor at The New Republic, Ross partnered with FERN on an investigation that won a James Beard Award. 

“This is an exciting opportunity to join a respected nonprofit news organization that partners with some of the best publications in the country,” Ross said. “Under Sam’s leadership, FERN has earned a reputation for its commitment to the highest quality journalism on food, agriculture, and the environment, and to supporting great writers and reporters. I look forward to continuing this vital work and hopefully taking it in innovative new directions.”

“We are extremely pleased to have attracted someone of Ted’s stature and experience to lead FERN in the next stage of its evolution,” said Fromartz. “My goal always was to build a thriving journalism organization and hand it off to a successor, and I feel that goal now has been achieved. I’m confident in Ted’s ability to lead our team and navigate the media landscape in ways that will help FERN thrive.” 

FERN’s leadership and board were attracted by Ross’s varied experience as a journalist and team leader, his demonstrated ability to produce content on multiple platforms, and his commitment to and experience in investigative journalism and long-form storytelling.

FERN Executive Director Tom Laskawy said that Ross’s hire was the product of an exhaustive search. “It’s not a simple task to succeed a founder at any organization. Ted’s unique combination of management skills and editorial vision will ensure a smooth transition as FERN moves into the next phase of its growth. I can’t wait to see where he leads our incredible editorial team and reporting network,” Laskawy said.

Ross will come aboard later this month, working with Fromartz on a transition. Fromartz expects to play a role in discrete projects at FERN and will also continue to serve on FERN’s Board of Directors. 

Media Contact: Erin Eberle | 503-490-5461 | [email protected]