By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Oklahoma Watch has announced that veteran journalists, Ted Streuli and Mike Sherman, will join the nonprofit news organization beginning in June.
Former Journal Record Executive Editor and Associate Publisher Ted Streuli has been named Oklahoma Watch’s executive director and Mike Sherman, who spent 24 years at The Oklahoman, will serve as executive editor.
Last January the organization announced that David Fritze, who has served as Executive Editor of Oklahoma Watch since 2012, would be retiring this year. Fritze has served more than four decades in the news business and previously served as a senior editor with The Arizona Republic
Streuli and Sherman will take over the leadership of the organization in June.
Under Fritze’s leadership, Oklahoma Watch won numerous awards; expanded its fundraising and distribution; nutured collaborations with other news organizations; moved into multimedia, and hosted numerous public forums.
“It’s been a great pleasure and a privilege to lead this organization,” said Fritze.
“I want to thank all of the people on our team – our journalists, editors, board members, leadership group and many support specialists, whether in data, visuals, social media or forums. Not to mention our funders, followers and media partners,” Fritze continued.
“You should be proud of what you’ve accomplished. Oklahoma Watch has made a difference for the better, convincingly showing that fact-driven, investigative journalism is essential for our state,” said Fritze. “I will miss it, but I also know that we have created momentum for its growth that is stronger than ever.”
The Mettise Group was hired by Oklahoma Watch to lead the search for the two executive positions.
“We’re excited to have Ted and Mike join Oklahoma Watch,” said Joe Hight, Oklahoma Watch Board Chair. “They are award-winning and nationally recognized journalists who care deeply about Oklahoma and the important investigative news stories published by Oklahoma Watch.”
Streuli has lived in Oklahoma since 2004, where he served The Journal Record until 2018. Since then he has served as president and executive director of Peaceful Family Solutions, a nonprofit that provides services for children whose families are affected by addiction.
Sherman was a deputy editor for The Tampa Bay Times before returning to Oklahoma. He is currently the project manager for The Coronavirus Storytelling Project, a collaboration between three organizations, including Oklahoma Watch, to help state journalists who have been furloughed or displaced as well as those in struggling community news organizations.
“The need for quality, investigative journalism grows daily with the announcement of additional layoffs and furloughs at local papers,” Hight said. “Oklahoma Watch offers investigative, fact-driven journalism, that examines significant issues facing our state. The work that Ted and Mike will do will lead to positive change.”
Founded by The Oklahoma-based Inasmuch Foundation in collaboration with the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame and Oklahoma Watch, The Coronavirus Storytelling Project was founded in April.
At that time The Inasmuch Foundation pledged $50,000 to launch the project .That initial funding provides for five $500 grants each week for the next four months as well as funding for the project manager.
According to the website, each grant would provide journalists with a one-time $500 stipend to write a first-person, narrative or data-journalism story or multimedia piece (podcast, photo package or video) on either the coronavirus outbreak, challenges faced by journalists during the pandemic, or an issue important to Oklahoma in 2020.