Watchdog adds Keith Campbell and Ty Russell

Keith Campbell, left, joins the Asheville Watchdog as its new managing editor. The Watchdog also elected Ty Russell, WLOS News 13’s evening anchor and a member of the News 13 Investigates reporting team, to the board of directors of the nonprofit news organization.


Asheville Watchdog

Keith Campbell, a veteran journalist and former vice president and managing editor of The Dallas Morning News, has been named Asheville Watchdog’s next managing editor.

The Watchdog also elected Ty Russell, WLOS News 13’s evening anchor and a member of the News 13 Investigates reporting team, to the board of directors of the nonprofit news organization.

The announcements were made Tuesday by Bob Gremillion, publisher.

“We’re thrilled to add Keith and Ty to Asheville Watchdog’s growing team of veteran journalists, media executives, and volunteers, all of us dedicated to giving local citizens the reliable, fact-based information they need to make decisions about our community’s future,” Gremillion said.

Campbell will take over The Watchdog’s day-to-day newsroom operations beginning June 1. He succeeds Peter Lewis, who served for two years as the Watchdog’s volunteer managing editor and was named Executive Editor by the board on Monday.

Lewis, formerly a senior writer and editor of The New York Times, will continue to volunteer along with Watchdog reporters Sally Kestin, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter; Tom Fiedler, dean emeritus at Boston University’s College of Communication and former executive editor of The Miami Herald; Barbara Durr, former correspondent for The Financial Times of London; photographer Starr Sariego; and John Maines, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner at The South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Campbell becomes the third salaried employee of The Watchdog, which continues to build a permanent staff for long-term sustainability. The Watchdog hired veteran reporter John Boyle in November and investigative reporter Andrew R. Jones in February.

“The Asheville Watchdog‘s commitment to high-level local journalism couldn’t be more essential in these times,” Campbell said. “I’m thrilled that I’ll be joining a team of outstanding journalists dedicated to holding the powerful accountable and to improving life in Asheville.”

As managing editor of The Dallas Morning News, Campbell directed the day-to-day operation and newsgathering efforts of a nearly 300-person newsroom.

Campbell managed the newspaper’s coverage of numerous major stories, including the 2016 downtown Dallas police ambush that left five officers dead and nine wounded. For its coverage, The Morning News was a finalist for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news.

A native of Louisville, Campbell has a journalism degree from the University of Missouri. Before joining The Dallas Morning News, he worked at The Montgomery Advertiser, The Wichita Eagle, and The Tampa Bay Times. He also was interim senior editor of The Modesto Bee.

Russell, a native of Miami, joined WLOS News 13 in Asheville in 2021. He worked previously as a reporter and anchor at Miami’s CBS-owned station, WFOR. He started his career at KNOE in Monroe, La., before working at WBBH in Fort Myers, Fla. and later at WFTV in Orlando.

As a member of the Asheville Watchdog board of directors, Russell will help guide the digital-first organization as it grows and expands into new forms of local storytelling, including audio and video.

“I don’t take this lightly,” Russell said of his election to the board. “This is a news organization that’s crucial to our community. These are veteran journalists who deeply care about keeping people informed. It is an absolute honor to be able to do anything I possibly can to help. I’m so grateful.”

Founded in 2020, Asheville Watchdog is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit news organization created and run by award-winning volunteer retired journalists and media executives and funded entirely by community donations. It focuses on investigative and accountability journalism on topics of vital interest to the citizens of Asheville and Buncombe County.

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