John Heaston

Publisher

Email John Heaston john@thereader.com
Twitter @HeastonJohn

John Heaston is editor and publisher of The Reader and El Perico. Heaston co-founded The Reader in 1994.


Chris Bowling

News Editor

Email Chris Bowling chris@thereader.com
Chris Bowling Twitter @chrismbowling

Chris has worked for The Reader since January 2020. As an investigative reporter and news editor he’s taken deep dives into topics such as police transparency, affordable housing and COVID-19. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Chris came to Nebraska to study at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Journalism and Mass Communication and traveled for internships at the Tampa Bay Times, Minneapolis Star Tribune and Atlanta Journal Constitution before moving to Omaha and joining The Reader.


Bridget Fogarty

Report for America The Reader/El Perico Reporter

Email Bridget Fogarty bridget@el-perico.com
Bridget Fogarty Twitter @BridgeFogs

Bridget Fogarty joined The Reader and El Perico in 2021 through Report for America, a national program that pairs, and helps pay for, journalists with newsrooms.


Karlha Velásquez

Associate Publisher, El Perico

Email Karlha Velásquez karlha@el-perico.com

Karlha Velásquez joined El Perico in 2019 and has since become its associate publisher and editorial leader.


Emma Schartz

Summer 2021 reporting Intern

Email Emma Schartz emma@thereader.com

Emma Schartz is a summer 2021 intern for The Reader.


Lynn Sanchez

Creative Services Director

Email Lynn Sanchez lynn@pioneermedia.me
Lynn Sanchez Twitter @Lynniji

Lynn Sanchez joined The Reader in 2020. She coordinates The Reader’s cultural coverage including music, movies, art and monthly picks.


Tylonda Sanders

Account Manager and Digital Services Associate

Email Tylonda Sanders tylonda@pioneermedia.me

Tylonda is a newbie at The Reader, having just started at the end of May 2021 to sell the ads and digital marketing services. Although not working as a writer technically, she counts as one of her personal heroes Ida B. Wells. She believes that knowledge is power, and the written word is key to that knowledge. She has a degree from the University of Nebraska- Lincoln in English Literature and is a voracious reader. Her background includes editing and writing book reviews for a quarterly magazine and more recently hospitality sales for a large hotel chain.


Anton Johnson

Reporting Intern

Email Anton Johnson anton@thereader.com
Anton Johnson Twitter @antoniswriting

Anton Johnson is a summer 2021 intern for The Reader.


Ryan Syrek

Film Critic, Section Editor

Email Ryan Syrek film@thereader.com
Ryan Syrek Twitter @thereaderfilm

When the cinematic majesty of Blade II was unleashed upon the world in March of 2002, so were Ryan’s opinions on movies. Over the last nearly two decades, he has written thousands of reviews and endured at least as many insults for those reviews. He isn’t produce but is a certified Rotten Tomato (critic), and his work has been syndicated at The Boulder Weekly. He intends to help establish a Midwest Film Critic Society but has also been saying that for a long time now.


Sam Crisler

Music Editor

Email Sam Crisler backbeat@thereader.com
Sam Crisler Twitter @samcrisler

Sam has contributed to The Reader since 2017 and started as its music editor in July 2021. He has covered the Nebraska music scene extensively since joining The Daily Nebraskan in 2016, and has worked at other media outlets Hear Nebraska, Rabble Magazine and 89.3 KZUM, where he hosts the all-local show “Hear Nebraska FM.” His goal is to bring wider exposure to the scene’s hard-working, talented musicians. He lives in Lincoln and enjoys running, playing the drums and hopelessly cheering on the Nebraska football team.


Leah Cates

Editorial & Membership Associate

Email Leah Cates leah@pioneermedia.me
Leah Cates Twitter @cates_leah

After her reporting internship ended in May 2021, Leah stuck around as an Editorial & Membership Associate. When she’s not writing stories about gender and education justice, like “Let Trans Kids Be Kids” and “The Fight to Change Social Studies in Nebraska,” Leah is busy in her Editorial & Membership Associate role; she pens Omaha Jobs columns about employment equity, creates the daily newsletter (classified info alert: Leah is Reed Moore), develops social media strategy and more. Leah, who served as Editor-in-Chief of Vassar College’s student newspaper, is currently applying to Women’s and Gender Studies PhD programs, where she hopes to blend journalistic and academic writing to make academic research more accessible to the general public.


Mike Krainek

Mike Krainek

Art Editor

Mike Krainek writes and edits stories about visual art for The Reader.


B.J. Huchtemann

Senior Contributing Writer, Hoodoo Columnist

photo credit: Chip Duden

B.J. Huchtemann is a senior contributing writer and columnist for The Reader. Her “Hoodoo” column covers blues, Americana and other types of roots music with an emphasis on the value of live music performances. She is a 2015 recipient of the Keeping the Blues Alive Award for Journalism from the Blues Foundation in Memphis. She received a 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards. In addition to her work in music journalism, she also has extensive experience in communication, advertising, media and television production.  


Sara Locke

Sara Locke

Food Editor

Email Sara Locke dish@thereader.com

Sara Locke is an award winning journalist, copywriter, and author living, working, and raising her three children in Omaha. Nebraska. Locke has served as the Contributing Editor for The Reader’s Dish section since 2014, and is passionately driven to share not only the dishes that make Omaha worth talking about, but the human interest stories behind each menu. 

Robyn Murray

Robyn Murray

Copy/News Editor

Email Robyn Murray copy@thereader.com

Robyn Murray has been copy/news editor at The Reader since 2019. A former news director at KVNO News in Omaha, Robyn has reported for National Public Radio, Public Radio International, WNYC and WBUR. Her print work has appeared in USA Today and Business Day in Johannesburg, South Africa. Robyn now works in nonprofit communications and gets her journalism fix from The Reader, where she also contributes the periodic column DIS|PLACE. Robyn received her bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University and her master’s in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.