Ed Choate says he has visited McAlester many times. Now, he’s embarking on a more permanent arrangement.
Choate, executive editor of the Muskogee Phoenix, has been appointed publisher and editor of the McAlester News-Capital, effective Jan. 1.
Choate has been at the Phoenix in northeast Oklahoma since 2005, starting as city editor and progressing to the top editor directing the news operation.
Previously, he worked for 20 years in the sports departments at the Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Orlando Sentinel, New Orleans Times-Picayune and the Greenville (S.C.) News.
“Ed brings a strong news background to this position,” said Frank Leto, Oklahoma group publisher for CNHI, parent company of the McAlester and Muskogee papers. “I am extremely happy to have someone of his integrity, character and leadership take on this important role.”
Choate is anxious to get started.
“I’m excited to be a part of the great team of media professionals at the McAlester News-Capital,” Choate said. “We will work every day to maintain the trust of the community we serve. Readers and advertisers will be at the center of our plans to provide information the community wants, needs and values.”
He’s also looking forward to working with the newspaper staff.
“McAlester News-Capital journalists have a rich heritage of award-winning work,” Choate said. Over the past three years, the News-Capital has won a number of national awards, including the 2015 Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award and Bronze Medallion, presented in Washington for Public Service Journalism Writing. The News-Capital also won consecutive national CNHI national awards for Public Service Writing, in addition to awards from the National Newspaper Association as well as a number of statewide awards in a wide range of categories.
“I’m excited to be a part of that,” said Choate, who is also an award-winning journalist. “We’re going to add content to the paper,” he said.
Choate, who is 7/8th Choctaw Indian, has deep ties with southeast Oklahoma. His parents and siblings were born throughout the area and he said he’s glad to be living in McAlester.
“I’m looking forward to making McAlester my home,” Choate said. “I’ve driven through McAlester many times on my way to visit family and have shopped and eaten at the restaurants. I’m anxious to add more great experiences throughout the city.”
“I think my experience has helped prepare me for this responsibility,” Choate said. “Communities like McAlester feel like home.”