Valley Morning Star announces new editor; Newsroom promotions will help local, regional coverage

The New Year has arrived alongside changes in the newsrooms of the Valley Morning Star and The Brownsville Herald.

Ryan R. Henry has been named the editor-in-chief of both publications, effective today.

Furthermore, Star metro editor Ernie J. Garrido has been promoted to deputy editor of the Valley Morning Star, and Herald metro editor Laura B. Martinez has likewise been promoted to deputy editor of The Brownsville Herald.

The promotions, which are designed to improve the newsrooms’ regional and local news coverage, were announced Tuesday by Frank Escobedo, publisher of AIM Texas Media’s Cameron County publications.

Henry has served as the editor of the Herald since late 2012. With an expertise of more than 20 years of TV and newspaper journalism in the Rio Grande Valley, he will now oversee the newsroom operations of AIM Media Texas’ multiple English publications in Cameron County, which include the Herald, Star, Coastal Current Weekly and more.

“I have worked with Ryan for the past five years and he has shown a keen understanding of our communities in Cameron County,” Escobedo said. “He brings a wealth of experience to the job having worked in newsrooms across the Valley. He is respected by his peers and the community at large and will provide the leadership we seek as we enter a new year and new decade.”

Henry is an alumnus of Texas State Technical College in Harlingen and University of Texas—Pan American in Edinburg. His newspaper career began at The Monitor in 1998 and has since included management roles at the Valley Morning Star, Coastal Current Weekly and The Brownsville Herald.

“I have a strong love for the Rio Grande Valley, the important role of journalism in our communities, and the value of our daily newspapers,” Henry said. “I see the enormous potential ahead, and I’m confident in working with the talented journalists currently at both newsrooms.”

The newly created deputy editor positions now helmed by Garrido and Martinez at each daily newspaper will help keep reporting closely focused on the local communities as the newspapers work more closely together on regional projects.

As a metro editor, Garrido has led the day-to-day operations of the newsroom at the Valley Morning Star since October 2018. As a graduate of the University of Texas School of Journalism, his career started at The Brownsville Herald and has included magazine publishing experience at Time Inc. in New York City as production manager at People en Español, and various roles in public relations in Cameron County.

“Ernie is a talented journalist and respected manager, and he will continue to do even greater things with the reporting team in 2020, focusing on what best serves the readers of the Valley Morning Star,” Henry said.

Martinez has been a reporter at both the Star and Herald, and she has been the Herald’s metro editor since 2012. Throughout her career, Martinez has consistently earned journalist accolades, including multiple awards from the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors association for investigative reporting, breaking news and community service.

“Laura was part of the reporting team and was transitioning into a leadership role when the newspaper was selected as the Texas APME’s Newspaper of the Year in April 2013,” Henry said. “She has been pivotal in our success over many years now, and she is now more than ready to step up into even greater responsibility.”