Articles about "Politico"


Career Beat: Fired BuzzFeed editor Benny Johnson joins National Review

Good morning! Here are some career updates from the journalism community:

  • Benny Johnson will be social media editor for National Review. Previously, he was viral politics editor at BuzzFeed. (Politico)
  • Joe Scarborough will be a contributor to “Meet the Press.” He is the host of “Morning Joe” on MSNBC. (The Hill)
  • Shari Levine is now executive vice president of current production for Bravo Media. She was senior vice president of current production there. (NBC Universal)
  • Adam Bryant is now a deputy science editor at The New York Times. He is a business writer there. (Poynter)
  • Howard Mittman is now publisher of GQ. Previously, he was publisher of Wired. (Condé Nast)
  • Chris Mitchell is now publisher of Vanity Fair. Previously, he was publisher at GQ. (Condé Nast)
  • Daniella Diaz is a web producer at Politico. Previously, she was a staff writer at The Monitor. (Politico)
  • Rebecca Adams is now a staff writer at The Huffington Post covering family and relationships. She was lifestyle editor there. (The Huffington Post)
  • Anna Orso is now a reporter and curator for Billy Penn. She was a reporter for the (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) Patriot-News. (Billy Penn) |

Job of the day: The Center for Public Integrity is looking for a fellow. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs)

Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org Read more

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Clash over Abramson’s style may have figured in Politico editor’s resignation

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Rick Berke leaves Politico: The publication’s executive editor resigned Sunday, citing “an acceptance by the three of us that the dynamics were just not there for us to function seamlessly.” The other two people in that “three of us” formulation, John Harris and Jim VandeHei, tell staffers “We have very big plans for expanding POLITICO here and elsewhere and need in place a leadership team that shares our vision, ambitions and full faith.” (HuffPost) | Erik Wemple passes on word of an awkward “Politico University” workshop in May, after Berke’s former boss Jill Abramson was fired: “Berke got a bit off-topic, putting forth his opinion that Abramson was an inept and insensitive manager. Some female staffers objected to that characterization, and the session blew up in awkward polemics about the internal politics of a competing outlet.” (WP) | “Rick Berke does not capitalize “Politico” in his resignation message. That’s a strategic difference right there” (@johnmcquaid)
  2. Benny Johnson gets a second chance: The former BuzzFeed reporter, fired for plagiarism in July, will be social media director at National Review. “Benny made a terrible mistake,” National Review Editor Rich Lowry tells Mike Allen. “But he has owned up to it and learned from it.” (Politico) | “#FF @RichLowry” (@bennyjohnson) | “‘God and Man at #YOLO’” (@sissenberg)
  3. Wealthy owners sought for DFM papers: “Newspaper Guild-represented staff at major newspapers including the Denver Post, San Jose Mercury News and St. Paul Pioneer Press are publishing ads online and in print seeking local, community-minded buyers for their newsrooms.” (Newspaper Guild) | Do you know anyone who’d like to mix a little ink into their blue blood? Contact TNG-CWA President Bernie Lunzer (bernie@newsguild.org) or TNG-CWA Acting Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens (sara@newsguild.org)
  4. Ben Smith on the death of the newspaper “bundle”: “[T]here are signs that the unbundling may be followed by a rebundling. … And so editors like me are wrestling with two questions: can we put the bundle back together? And should we?” (The Guardian) | FREEKY FLASHBACK: “If anything, BuzzFeed, with its massive traffic and fat wallet, has reengineered the ‘bundle’ so it can actually add news coverage in an advertising climate that’s caused other publications to get really good at subtraction.” (Poynter)
  5. Why won’t Bloomberg report on itself? The news organization’s “decision to not write about Mr. Bloomberg’s return to his company, and Mr. Bloomberg’s decision to speak with a rival news organization, displeased a number of Bloomberg’s journalists,” Ravi Somaiya writes. “To retreat on a newsworthy story in deference to your owners is bad policy,” Ann Marie Lipinski tells him. (NYT)
  6. Remembering Steven Sotloff: About 1,000 people gathered in Pinecrest, Florida, to remember the slain journalist. Sotloff “went to places we only read about in the headlines, sought out people, became their voice,” Rabbi Terry Bookman said in a eulogy. “And what a beautiful voice it was.” (Miami Herald) | Clips from his work at Central Florida Future (Central Florida Future) | Related: David Carr on the “mastery of medium and message” Sotloff’s murderers show in their video. “ISIS seems to understand that the same forces that carried the Ice Bucket Challenge’s message of uplift — the desire to be part of something, to be in the know — can be used to spread fear and terror as well.” (NYT)
  7. Chuck Todd debuts as “Meet the Press” host: “It will take more than a former bouncer with awesome tats to save ‘Meet the Press,’” Manuel Roig-Franzia writes. “But in a genre that sometimes has the feel of a wax museum, it’s a start.” (WP) | The show “isn’t going to be turned around in six days or six weeks,” Todd tells Brian Stelter. (CNN)
  8. Why did The Plain Dealer pull three top reporters from courts beat? “The reason bandied about the Plain Dealer newsroom in the wake of the announcements is that the stories written by [Rachel] Dissell, [John] Caniglia, and [Jim] McCarty were generating some of the highest traffic online. Since these three reporters still work for the union-employed Plain Dealer, NEOMG and NEOMG boss Chris Quinn could not take credit for the Internet traffic. By replacing his award-winning journos, Quinn can now claim the clicks for future court stories.” (Cleveland Scene)
  9. Ferguson Fellowship funded: $40,319 was pledged by 8:19 a.m. Monday, two days before the deadline. Two people took the $5,000 package, which includes a lunch at the Ferguson McDonald’s with Ryan J. Reilly and Ferguson Fellow Mariah Stewart. (Beacon Reader)
  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: Benny Johnson will be social media editor for National Review. Previously, he was viral politics editor at BuzzFeed. (Politico) | Joe Scarborough will be a contributor to “Meet the Press.” He is the host of “Morning Joe” on MSNBC. (The Hill) | Rebecca Adams is now a staff writer at The Huffington Post covering family and relationships. She was lifestyle editor there. (The Huffington Post) | Anna Orso is now a reporter and curator for Billy Penn. She was a reporter for the (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) Patriot-News. (Billy Penn) | Shari Levine is now executive vice president of current production for Bravo Media. She was senior vice president of current production there. (NBC Universal) | Adam Bryant is now a deputy science editor at The New York Times. He is a business writer there. (Poynter) | Howard Mittman is now publisher of GQ. Previously, he was publisher of Wired. (Condé Nast) | Chris Mitchell is now publisher of Vanity Fair. Previously, he was publisher at GQ. (Condé Nast) | Daniella Diaz is a web producer at Politico. Previously, she was a staff writer at The Monitor. (Politico) | Job of the day: The Center for Public Integrity is looking for a fellow. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org

Suggestions? Criticisms? Would like me to send you this roundup each morning? Please email me: abeaujon@poynter.org. Read more

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Executive editor of Politico resigns over strategy differences

The Huffington Post | The New York Times

Rick Berke has resigned from his post as executive editor of Politico after disagreements with co-founders John Harris and Jim VandeHei over “strategy for running the Washington news organization,” Michael Calderone writes for The Huffington Post:

“There is no acrimony and no drama — simply an acceptance by the three of us that the dynamics were just not there for us to function seamlessly,” Berke wrote in a memo obtained by The Huffington Post.

In another memo obtained by Calderone, Harris and VandeHei say Berke’s departure wasn’t an “isolated decision.”

We have very big plans for expanding POLITICO here and elsewhere and need in place a leadership team that shares our vision, ambitions and full faith.

Berke succeeded VandeHei as executive editor in October. Before that, he had multiple jobs at The New York Times, including senior editor and director of video content development and assistant managing editor.

Politico editor-at-large Bill Nichols will be acting executive editor, Ravi Somaiya writes for The New York Times. VandeHei and Harris do not have a successor in place yet.

After Berke’s departure from The New York Times last year, then-editor Jill Abramson said she was looking forward to “competing against him again,” adding that “Politico is lucky to have him as executive editor.” Read more

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WaPo’s new publisher has ditched the BlackBerry

Fred Ryan is now an iPhone guy.

“What you may have heard is I’m so clumsy typing with my thumbs that I held on to my BlackBerry,” The Washington Post’s new publisher said in a phone call. These days, “I am purely iPhone — and, of course, Fire Phone,” he said, referring to the handset recently launched by Post owner Jeff Bezos’ other company, Amazon. (“You need to order one!” he said.)

As in previous interviews about his new job, Ryan, who previously was CEO and president of Politico and COO and president of the Allbritton Communications Company, declined to outline a specific strategy for how the Post would make money as print revenue declines and digital ad revenue fails to fill the gap. “I have not gone through the ad split or seen the specific numbers,” Ryan said.

Ryan in 2014. (John Shinkle/Politico)

Ryan. (John Shinkle/Politico)

Asked to speak broadly, he said, “You have to approach this from all sides. Certainly the editorial side, but also the business side, expecting it’s going to be a time of change, and change that we’re still yet to see in the media industry.”

Everyone at the Post, he said, must “be prepared for that: The way we do business, the way we reach our readers and consumers will continue to change dramatically.”

The Post has launched a number of digital initiatives and products since Bezos bought it last August. (Ryan, who told Joe Pompeo he still starts his day with the paper’s print edition, says he “absolutely” has explored its digital offerings: “I go on from there,” he said.)

Many of those ventures have been aimed at a national audience, such as its opinion venture, Post Everything. But what about the region the news organization has traditionally covered?

“There has been a strong national growth strategy, but that does not preclude winning local coverage at all,” Ryan said. “Covering Washington, D.C., incredibly well and being the dominant news sorurce for Washington is not fundamentally at odds with having a huge national and international forotprint.”

I asked Ryan about his comment that “a key for Wapo is winning the morning,” as media reporter Erik Wemple tweeted during Ryan’s first meeting with the newsroom.

“The morning is a very important time for all of us, but certainly to get our bearings and to learn what happeneed overnight,” he said. “I believe it’s a very important time to connect with readers.” Ryan said the Post has already launched “some impressive morning products” and declined to say whether he planned to urge it to launch more.

“Well, the one thing I said in the newsroom is I think we will all have a common vision, and we’ll all have a culture of innovation, but when it comes to launching new products, new blogs, we’re not going to telegraph the things that we’re doing because there are so many eyes watching,” he said.

I also asked him whether he planned to urge the Post to spell its name in all-caps, as he reportedly did with Politico’s.

“I think the Post name looks just fine,” he said.

(Post style on Politico’s name probably won’t change, either: Post copy editor Bill Walsh tells Poynter the paper’s style is to “capitalize only the first letter unless each letter is pronounced as a letter.”)

Disclosures: Wemple and I both worked for Allbritton. I never worked directly with Ryan, though I was strongly in favor of a style decision our publication, TBD.com, made, to not capitalize Politico. I strongly dislike all-caps names except when writing about GWAR, a band that doesn’t come up that often on my current beat.

Correction: This post originally included a line that demonstrated how easily I fell for an April Fool’s joke. While Politico has traditionally sought to “win the morning,” it did not seriously instruct reporters to “Win the Dawn.” Read more

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Katharine Weymouth

Katharine Weymouth’s resignation completes the close of the Graham era at the Washington Post

Katharine Weymouth (Photo by Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

Katharine Weymouth (Photo by Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

In a word, unsurprising. Katharine Weymouth’s announced resignation today as Washington Post publisher simply completes the ownership change initiated a year and a month ago when Amazon’s Jeff Bezos bought the paper.

Neither Bezos nor Weymouth were commenting (even to the Post) about the circumstances and timing of the change, though the New York Times reported it was initiated by Bezos. My guess would have been that she had agreed to stay on for a transitional year as part of the sale, but perhaps she was trying out for a longer tenure with the new owner.

It is hard to call Weymouth’s six-plus years as publisher a success, but I wouldn’t say she failed in the job either.  She took control at the worst possible time in 2008 as the deep recession accelerated the precipitous decline of print advertising, especially at metro papers. She oversaw rapid-fire experiments with new revenue sources and a series of strategies for digital growth.  None of her initiatives turned the enterprise around — but then, who in a similar situation did?

This has been the era of “Riptide” (as a Harvard study project by three former media executives was titled).  A strong legacy brand may have been as much a liability as an asset in competition with digital disruptors. Staying afloat was an accomplishment.

Weymouth’s legacy will be twofold.  In December 2012, she took a clear-eyed look at her tenure and at the Post’s prospects and persuaded her uncle, CEO Donald Graham, that it was time for a new owner, a new vision and new capital to support a transition that will take years more.

Around that same time, she hired Martin Baron away from the Boston Globe as editor.  Knowing Baron well, I am not unbiased, but he is certainly one of the best editors of his generation, if not the best.

I heard of Weymouth (without knowing much of anything about her) more than a decade ago.  Someone told me that none of Graham’s four children was interested in succeeding him in the family business, but a niece was and was moving through business jobs at the paper in preparation.

Graham had done a similar apprenticeship (as have various Sulzbergers at the New York Times).  But a tour of departments with increasing responsibilities doesn’t exactly get an heir apparent ready the way it once did.

My own limited impressions of Weymouth were formed in several visits to Poynter in St. Petersburg (where her father is an accomplished architect) and several appearances at the annual conference of the Newspaper Association of  America, where she seemed to enjoy asking the questions as a moderator more than answering them.

A sharp intelligence was evident, but she was not much on the vision thing in public forums and revealed little about what she saw as the Post’s biggest business challenges or how she planned to deal with them.  Easy for me to say, but I am not sure, in retrospect, what the benefits of greater candor would have been.

Most accounts of Weymouth’s time (including the Post’s own this morning) will rate as her greatest blunder a plan to put advertisers together with Post editors and reporters in “salons.” at her home. I think that’s a bad rap.

A mashup of an events strategy with her grandmother’s legacy as a dinner party hostess, the effort launched with bad optics and was withdrawn.  But the Post quickly got back in the events business (where sponsorships are an easy sell compared to conventional advertising). Weymouth’s version doesn’t strike me as all that different from Atlantic Media owner David Bradley’s widely praised development of a-list events as an important revenue stream.

Amanda Bennett, a seasoned top editor as well as Don Graham’s wife, was ready with an effusive tribute to Weymouth, posted as a comment minutes after Poynter Online’s news story about the change.  Bennett’s focus is on Weymouth’s “courage” in fighting the good fight, then knowing when to take the painful step of ending family control.

The morning line on Weymouth’s successor, Frederick Ryan, seems to include musings about whether his early career as a Reagan aide augurs a Post move to the right editorially.  I doubt it. Bezos is no ideologue and, especially on foreign affairs, Fred Hiatt’s editorial page is fairly conservative already.

To my mind, the more relevant factoid is that Ryan comes from Albritton Communications,  a longtime Post competitor.  Way back in the day Washington Star provided decades of second-paper competition to the Post before it was sold by Albritton and subsequently shuttered in 1981.

Fred Ryan, Jr., (Photo by John Shinkle/POLITICO

Fred Ryan, Jr., (Photo by John Shinkle/POLITICO

More recently, without a legacy newspaper culture to work through, Albritton successfully launched Politico (of which Ryan was the founding president and chief executive) in 2007 — the very model of a smooth pivot to digital at a time when the Post was still stopping and starting, trying to find its way as a print + digital business.

Related:
Katharine Weymouth at Poynter in 2010: ‘You just keep plugging away’ Read more

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Career Beat: Ryan Tate is named deputy editor for The Intercept

Good morning! Here are some job updates from the journalism community!

  • Becky Bowers will be editor of the Wall Street Journal’s Real Time Economics blog. She’s currently manager of digital operations for PolitiFact and PunditFact. (@beckybowers)
  • Thomas Claybaugh is now president and publisher for Gannett Central New York Media. Previously, he was general manager of Delmarva Media Group. (Gannett)
  • Terry Horne will be publisher and president for the (Salem, Oregon) Statesman Journal. He was president and publisher of the Pensacola (Florida) News Journal. (Gannett)
  • Jason Leopold will be a reporter at Vice News. Previously, he was a reporter for Al Jazeera America. (Politico)
  • Ryan Tate, Margot Williams and Cora Currier have joined The Intercept. Tate will be the site’s deputy editor. Previously, he was a contributor for Wired and Gawker. Williams will be a research editor. Previously, she was research editor at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Currier will be a reporter for the site. Formerly, she was a reporting fellow at ProPublica. (The Intercept)
  • Chris Voccio is now publisher of the Niagara Gazette and the Tonawanda News. Previously, he was publisher at the Norwich Bulletin. (Gadsden Times)

Job of the day:The Gaston Gazette is looking for “a reporter who doesn’t bore us.” Don’t be “dull” — get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs)

Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org.

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Liberal donors group shared photos of feared reporters

Politico

Before a gathering of liberal political donors in Chicago, Democracy Alliance released the names and photos of journalists that could be potential crashers, Kenneth P. Vogel reported on Monday for Politico. Democracy Alliance met in April, Vogel reported, and “the group distributed a memo to board members ahead of its Chicago meeting including suggested responses to questions about the club’s secretive rules and closed-press policy, as well as photos of reporters who it was feared might crash the Ritz shindig.”

“The truth is political strategists and funders frequently gather to discuss their plans without inviting reporters to listen in,” said DA spokeswoman Stephanie Mueller. “The Democracy Alliance was organized to provide a forum for people with a shared set of principles to coordinate their resources more efficiently and effectively to achieve their common goals – it doesn’t represent a single industry or family, and doesn’t give money directly to organizations.”

Politico includes the photo memo in its story. Here’s a screenshot of part of the first page of that memo, which includes Vogel, Politico’s Bryan Tau, Ryan Grim of Huffington Post and Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times. The list looks like it was actually cut and pasted together.

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 10.53.47 AM Read more

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New Politico Journalism Institute will focus on training and diversity

Politico

In July, 10 college juniors and seniors will be the first to be part of Politico Journalism Institute, a new project announced Thursday. All costs for the July 31 through August 8 session will be covered. The students will work closely with reporters and editors at Politico.

“Since POLITICO launched more than seven years ago, we have made training the next generation a priority with programs like the POLITICO Fellowship, and with an overall dedication to hiring young journalists,” said POLITICO Publisher Robert Allbritton. “We’re thrilled now to have this unique opportunity to give students from diverse backgrounds the chance to come to Washington and experience, in real time, how journalism works.”

According to Politico, the program will get guidance from American University School of Communication and the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. Read more

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Freelance journalist held at gunpoint in Crimea

Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting | Kyiv Post | Politico

Freelance journalist Dimiter Kenarov, who’s reporting in Crimea for the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, tweeted that he’d had a gun pointed to his head outside a TV studio on Thursday. On his Twitter account, Kenarov tweets a link to a video after the attack. In a video of the attack, people around him seem … remarkably casual about the whole thing.

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Richard Just named editor of National Journal magazine

National Journal | The Huffington Post

Richard Just is the new editor of National Journal’s magazine, the publication announced Tuesday.

Just will oversee the print edition of National Journal, which “isn’t found on newsstands, but is distributed through a membership model aimed at Washington’s elite,” Michael Calderone reports in The Huffington Post. Just told Calderone he plans to “make National Journal the non-ideological magazine about politics and policy.” Calderone continues: Read more

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