Morgan Pehme has been the editor-in-chief of City & State since May 2012. As editor, Pehme has overseen a transformation of the publication from a newspaper to a magazine format; launched Last Read, an afternoon compliment to C&S’s popular morning daily email First Read; and introduced Last Look, C&S’s daily video interview series. Under Pehme, City & State has won four New York Press Association awards, and in recognition of his work, Margaret Sullivan, the former editor-in-chief of The Buffalo News and current public editor of The New York Times, dubbed him a “wunderkind.”
As a contributor to C&S, Pehme has done several long-form cover stories, including pieces on U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, and former New York State Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith. In addition, he writes a regular column about city and state politics, as well as Ad Watch, a recurring feature Pehme originated in which he analyzes campaign commercials together with some of the nation’s foremost political consultants.
Pehme is also the co-editor, along with Jarrett Murphy, the executive editor of City Limits, of The Five Borough Ballot e-book, a week-by-week chronicle of the 2013 election in New York City from a neighborhood perspective.
Since June 2013, Pehme has served as the principal host of C&S’s Last Look series. In this capacity, he has sat down for on-camera interviews with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, former New York Governors David Paterson and Eliot Spitzer, former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, and former CNN anchor Campbell Brown, among many others. In print, he has done Q&As with such fascinating New Yorkers as Steve Buscemi, Brooke Shields, Robert Caro, Jimmy Breslin, Debra Winger and New York Jets owner Woody Johnson.
Pehme is also a regular political commentator on television and radio. On TV, he frequently appears on Up Close With Diana Williams on WABC, News Closeup with Marvin Scott on WPIX, Road To City Hall on NY1 and PBS’s MetroFocus. On the radio, he is often heard on the Curtis Sliwa Show on AM 970 and The Capitol Pressroom on numerous Upstate NPR affiliates. He has also been a guest on CUNY Forum on CUNY-TV, WCBS Radio, Good Morning Westchester on WVOX, WWRL, Fordham Radio, WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Showa, BBC Radio 5, Sirius XM’s Polioptics and Tokyo-FM.
Prior to joining City & State, Pehme was executive director of New York Civic, the nonpartisan good government group founded by former NYC Parks Commissioner Henry Stern. At NYCivic, Pehme spearheaded the creation of “Candidate College,” an online video series designed to teach political neophytes how to run for office, and was recognized by City Hall newspaper as one of its 40 Under 40 Rising Stars.
Before his time at NYCivic, Pehme was an adjunct professor of journalism, film, television and advertising at St. John’s University from 2004 to 2010. An award-winning filmmaker, Pehme has co-written, directed and produced several feature films, including a documentary currently in production about dirty tricks in politics, executive produced by two-time Sundance-winner Eugene Jarecki.
Pehme was born and raised on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and attended the Dalton School, where he earned renown as a national scholastic chess champion. He is an honors graduate of Lake Forest College in Illinois with a dual degree in English literature and French. Currently, he lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Patricia, and daughter, Fiona.
Jon Lentz is a reporter at City & State. He has been on the staff since January 2011.Lentz was born and raised on the Nebraska plains. Growing up in a town of 40,000, he got his hands stained in newsprint as a newspaper delivery boy for The Grand Island Independent, the local daily.In 2001, he left home to attend college in the Twin Cities. He wrote for the college newspaper, and in 2005 he started his first real job as a reporter at Lillie Suburban Newspapers outside of St. Paul.
An avid traveler, Lentz spent a semester abroad in Havana, Cuba, during his junior year in college. Later, as a Peace Corps volunteer in Romania, he took excursions throughout Europe, from Berlin to Budapest to Istanbul, and spent two years in a small Transylvanian town teaching English.
He then returned to the States in 2008 to study journalism at Columbia University. He interned with Reuters, writing about health care reform and the FDA in Washington, D.C. and later covered about a dozen companies in the New York City bureau.
He now lives in Astoria, Queens.
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