Evan Smith will become CEO of the Texas Tribune, a venture he's been working on for several months with John Thornton, a general partner of the Austin Ventures venture capital firm.
The Texas Tribune is intended to be a nonprofit entity that will publish original reporting — to be made available for free on the Tribune's Web site — and organize conferences and other events.
Smith said there will be two coverage areas: state politics and public policy. He envisions the Texas Tribune pursuing "deep-dive reporting on the big issues that are affecting Texas," such as low voter turnout, border issues, education, energy and the environment.
They also got a nice writeup in the New York Times' Media Decoder blog. Emily Ramshaw of the Dallas News was the first MSM reporter to announce she's jumping ship and joining the new venture, as announced on their Facebook Page. (You can also sign up here for announcements about their launch.) Good luck to all! If anybody can pull this off, Evan's probably just the guy to do it.