Investigative Post adds two reporters

Mark Scheer and Layne Dowdall join our growing staff

Investigative Post has added two reporters to our staff. Mark Scheer joins us from the Niagara Gazette and Lockport Union-Sun & Journal, where he served as regional news director. Layne Dowdall begins a fellowship following her graduation from St. Bonaventure University.

Our reporting staff has typically included three reporters in recent years. The addition of Scheer and Dowdall brings us to four full-time reporters. They join Geoff Kelly, former editor of The Public and Artvoice, and Phil Gambini, who worked with Scheer at the Gazette. Kelly covers local government and politics, Gambini is relaunching our environmental beat that has been expanded to include public health.

“Investigative Post may be the only news outlet in Western New York that is adding reporters and expanding our scope of coverage. Our growth reflects growing community support, financial and otherwise, for our style of hard-hitting, fact-based journalism,” said Jim Heaney, editor and executive director.

Scheer, 47, began his career as a reporter with the Medina Journal-Register in 1998 and has worked at the Gazette since 2007 where he was a reporter and later city editor before his promotion to regional news director. 

Matt Winterhalter, managing editor of the Gazette, praised Scheer in announcing his departure from the newspaper, telling readers,  “Many of the impactful stories you’ve read in the Gazette and Lockport Journal over the past few years are a direct result of his hard work and guidance.”

Scheer, a graduate of the journalism program at Buffalo State College, will devote most of his time to reporting on the Western New York economy and economic development. Along with Gambini, he’ll also provide enterprise coverage of issues in Niagara County.

“In an era of shrinking newsrooms, I’m excited to be part of the growing team at Investigative Post,” Scheer said. “I’m looking forward to lending my skills and experience to the production of the sort of high-quality journalism that has driven the success of the organization.”

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Dowdall, 22, majored in journalism and environmental studies at St. Bonaventure. She followed with a fellowship with the News21 Initiative at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. 

While at St. Bonaventure, she reported for TAPinto Greater Olean, a student-run hyperlocal news outlet, and served as vice president of the student body and promotions director at the campus radio station. 

Dowdall will begin her fellowship working on general assignment stories, including those involving the environment, and developing her skills to shoot and edit stories for television.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to further develop my journalist abilities at Investigative Post while working alongside and learning from a group of talented journalists. The type of reporting Investigative Post provides is impactful to the region and I can’t wait to contribute.”

Readers can follow Scheer on Twitter at @ByMarkScheer and contact him at You can follow Dowdall at @DowdallLayne and contact her at

Investigative Post is an award-winning, nonprofit investigative reporting center based in Buffalo. Our work is distributed through our website and partnerships with WGRZ TV, WBFO, WBEN, The Capitol Pressroom and Buffalo Spree.