Riley’s permanent appointment follows a national search.
Heart Newspaper president Jeff Johnson cited Riley’s “strong newsroom leadership and history of compelling enterprise reporting” as particularly attractive skills.
Riley has served in many positions at the newspaper since joining in November 2017, including deputy managing editor, investigations. He became acting editor in October of last year, when former executive editor Nancy Barnes departed to become senior vice president of news for National Public Radio.
Prior to his time with the Houston Chronicle, Riley was with The News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina, for more than 30 years. He held a variety of positions there, including senior editor for investigations, deputy managing editor, metro editor, sports editor, government editor and reporter.
He also worked as a reporter for Mississippi papers, including the Clarion-Ledger, The Sun and the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.
The Houston Chronicle employs nearly 700 people, including around 235 journalists, and is the largest daily newspaper in Texas.
Separately, Trusted Media Brands has named Ion Mateescu vice president of digital data strategy, a newly created role, effective immediately.
Mateescu will oversee the company’s digital business initiatives around ad sales, programmatic and product development.
Prior to his new role, Mateescu was head of analytics and data science for Thomson Reuters. He also spent three years as director of data science for Conde Nast, where he built the infrastructure for Spire.
Trusted Media Brands has seen robust growth across its digital properties of late, with its owned-and-operated websites recording double digital increases in unique visitors in March 2019. Those include Tasteofhome.com, which was up 29.6%, Readersdigest.com, up 46.1% and Familyhandyman.com, which saw an increase of 33.6%, all according to Comscore.