November 30, 2016

Kristin Roberts, Politico’s national editor, is leaving for an as-yet unannounced job in journalism, she told Poynter Wednesday.

“I have been incredibly lucky to be a part of Politico and have a chance to work with a group of exceptional reporters on an amazing story,” Roberts told Poynter. “I have no doubt Politico’s success will continue. What’s next for me will be fun, too.”

Roberts joined Politico in 2015 after leaving National Journal, where she was the managing editor. In a memo announcing Roberts’ hire, former editor Susan Glasser noted that she would be responsible for coordinating Roberts’ far-flung United States correspondents.

The decision to leave Politico was spurred by a sense that national news organizations covering the election did not do a good enough job reaching beyond the Washington D.C./ New York City media bubble, Roberts said. Going forward, she wants a job “that reminds me that journalism is a public service.”

“For all the exceptional journalism produced by national media over the course of 2016, we did not reach or represent an America that exists outside of Washington, outside of New York,” Roberts said. “And in my next job, I want to be part of a newsroom that has the ability to speak to and serve a non-Washington audience too.”

Roberts was among the candidates in the running to succeed Glasser as editor of Politico, according to multiple sources at Politico. In a memo to staffers Wednesday, Politico Editor Carrie Budoff Brown said she and Roberts had recently discussed “the possibility of several different roles here at Politico.”

Roberts will be missed in the Politico newsroom, according to a source there.

“She’s a force of nature, pushes you, organized people well,” the source said.

Here’s Brown’s memo:

Hi all –

Since my return, Kristin and I had discussed the possibility of several different roles here at POLITICO. After taking some time to think about her options, Kristin let John and I know that she was considering other opportunities and came to the conclusion that it was time for her to move on from POLITICO.

The journalism that Kristin and her team produced over the last year speaks for itself. She was instrumental in driving our incredible election coverage, and she kicked ass every day. Her work gave us indispensable momentum as we begin to cover a new Trump administration.

One thing that most readers couldn’t know — but I certainly do — is her role as teacher and mentor. She believes fiercely in the power of reporting and the responsibilities of journalists, and could be equally fierce in standing for her team and for POLITICO. That’s an example that I greatly admire and will benefit from in the days and years ahead.

I am very sad to see her go, and I know I have a lot of company in the newsroom. She was immensely supportive of me from the moment I returned to the newsroom, and I’m so thankful to her for that. Whomever nabs her next will be lucky.

We will find an appropriate way to toast her achievements before she departs later this month.


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Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism…
Benjamin Mullin

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