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Afternoon Shocker: Politico’s Jonathan Martin Leaves the Womb

Politico is so funny when they lose someone they actually like. In this case, it’s Jonathan Martin, their Senior Political Reporter and one of the publication’s original hires, who’s off to the New York Times. They issue a gynormous memo and Editor-in-Chief John Harris explains why the move is as good for them as it is for the other publication. He says things like this:

“Jonathan told us today that he is leaving home to take a big and challenging job as national political correspondent with the New York Times.” …From the POLITICO perspective, this is a day less for regret than excitement. We have an opportunity—indeed, from both Robert Allbritton and Fred Ryan we have an unambiguous order—to use this moment as a springboard.”

Leaving home? Anyhow, a colleague cracked, “Hoo boy… Can’t wait till the Times discovers his temper and penchant for speaking down to colleagues.”

Congratulations to Martin!

See the rest of the manifesto gargantuan internal memo…

Subject: A POLITICO Natural

One of the more memorable episodes in POLITICO’s early history came in December 2006, a few days after we announced that we were creating a new publication, at the Carlyle restaurant in Shirlington. We were meeting a young and inexperienced reporter named Jonathan Martin, who until recently had been with the Hotline. Jonathan had worked as a researcher on a book earlier that year with John. Jim thought the interview with a potential new hire was important enough that he agreed to take the meeting during the middle of a Green Bay Packers game.

After an hour of conversation about politics, journalism, and our ambitions for new media, Jonathan left and Jim said to John, “That guy’s a natural.”

In nearly seven years with POLITICO, Jonathan has indeed proven himself a natural at this wonderful calling of reporting and writing about national politics and the men and women who run our government. He has a zeal for the game and an appreciation of history that are truly special and that made POLITICO a natural home for him.

Jonathan told us today that he is leaving home to take a big and challenging job as national political correspondent with the New York Times. This discussion has been underway for some time as many (all?) of you may know, so this news did not come as a surprise. From the personal perspective, it is a sad day for us, even as we understand his decision and the hard thought that went into it. We are proud of how Jonathan’s great natural potential has blossomed at POLITICO, and he has our best wishes and continued friendship.

From the POLITICO perspective, this is a day less for regret than excitement. We have an opportunity—indeed, from both Robert Allbritton and Fred Ryan we have an unambiguous order—to use this moment as a springboard.

People currently on staff, already performing at exceptional levels of sourcing and sophistication, are ready to broaden their portfolios and expand their profiles, and our conversations make clear they are eager to do so. At the reportorial level, on the politics, White House, Congress and policy teams, this place is filled with natural leaders—people who set an example for others to follow within the newsroom, and whose work echoes loudly beyond it.

In addition, there are immediate opportunities to welcome top journalists from outside POLITICO—as well as newer journalists with JMart-like potential–into our newsroom and we are going to be aggressive in doing so.

Our success since POLITICO’s launch in January 2007 has allowed our ambitions to broaden and deepen in many areas. One core mission has remained unchanged since that night at Carlyle: This place is about creating a home for the nation’s top journalists, and allowing them a platform to have more impact and more fun than any other place in the business. On our main franchise of national politics, we are going to compete and win against all comers—against respected colleagues and friends at old media franchises like the Washington Post and New York Times, and against the rising number of new media franchises that play on the political field.

We are eager to hear from all of you who have ideas and ambitions about how we continue to dominate this subject in the years ahead.

In the meantime, Jonathan will be around a bit before leaving so there will be plenty of opportunity to thank him and toast his new adventure.

John, Jim

 

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