Michael Roehrman named executive editor of The Wichita Eagle

Michael Roehrman will be the 11th editor to hold the top newsroom job at The Wichita Eagle.
Michael Roehrman will be the 11th editor to hold the top newsroom job at The Wichita Eagle. File photo

Michael Roehrman, a seventh-generation Kansan who has worked at The Wichita Eagle since 1996, was named executive editor Friday.

Roehrman, 52, succeeds Steve Coffman, who left in April to become editor of the Star-Telegram in Fort Worth, Texas.

“I am incredibly excited about this. I love this paper dearly,” Roehrman said. “I love Wichita. I love Kansas.

“I see my role as editor of a digital news organization that also publishes a newspaper,” he said. “My goal is to continue the tremendous growth that Kansas.com has had over the last few years.”

Roehrman (pronounced ROAR-mun) has served as acting editor since April. He is the 11th editor to hold the top newsroom job in the organization’s 146-year history.

He started at The Eagle in 1996, while a college student at Wichita State University, helping to launch the website that became Kansas.com. Since then he has served as copy desk chief, publishing editor, senior editor and digital strategist.

As audience editor, he oversaw The Eagle’s coverage of a deadly swatting incident in Wichita, which earned a President’s Award from McClatchy, The Eagle’s parent company.

“Michael is the right leader to push The Eagle forward,” said Mike Fannin, Midwest regional editor for McClatchy.

“He’s an accomplished journalist, and he understands Wichita and its readers well. I’m excited about where his creativity and vision will take this already terrific staff.”

Dale Seiwert, The Eagle’s general manager, said he is glad to have a Wichita native in charge of the newsroom.

“It’s great to see someone who was here from the inception of Kansas.com to now lead our newsroom as we continue to transition into a digital media company,” Seiwert said.

Roehrman attended schools in Goddard before attending Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, and later transferring to Wichita State. He is the third generation of his family — including his maternal grandmother and great-grandmother — to work at The Eagle.

Roehrman, who lives in Wichita’s historic Delano neighborhood, said he looks forward to his new role representing The Eagle and advocating for local journalism.

“One of my priorities going into this is making us more visible and essential in the community,” he said. “I think that’s absolutely necessary.”