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Allbritton Buys Capital NY, VandeHei Named President

Watch out New York. Politico owner Robert Allbritton just took a bite out of the journalism industry there by purchasing Capital New York, an online news site created by  Josh Benson and Tom McGeveran.

Politico‘s Executive Editor Jim VandeHei has been named President of the new venture. He will remain in his role at Politico in Washington and still spend the majority of his time there. Benson and McGeveran will remain as co-editors. Katherine Lehr will be VandeHei’s number 2 and will be moving to Manhattan. In the next month they will hire on two dozen new reporters, with more to follow. Cally Stolbach, central on Politico‘s business team, will split her time between Washington and New York as Capital‘s new Director of Business Development.

Things could turn into a bloodsport. Word on the street is that they’ll be poaching the “best and brightest” from New York publications. Inside sources explain to FishbowlDC that it’s clear they see weakness in the New York Times as they saw in WaPo in 2007. They think they can go into their core areas – city and state politics, media – and beat them at their own game by instituting a new one. “It’s game-on with the Post and Bezos,” said one source. “We all have different approaches and audiences, but the fight for dominance was just taken to a whole new level.”

See Allbritton’s lengthy memo. It was dispatched to staff last night just after midnight. Read more

Politico’s Media Blog Reaches for Gold

Politico‘s Dylan Byers is beside himself with joy this morning.

“Some big blog news coming down the pipeline in minutes,” he wrote us this morning at 7:59 a.m.

Holy s#!&! What could it possibly be? Is he having dinner with Nate Silver? Have VandeHarris commissioned him to dress up in a chicken costume? Read more

WaPo’s Amy Argetsinger is Pregnant, Moving on to New, More Family Reliable Beat

And now, the memo on Amy Argetsinger leaving WaPo‘s “The Reliable Source.” In it, the big news that she’s pregnant with fiancé Bill McQuillen‘s child. She’s also moving on to a new beat that has better hours but unfortunately the memo doesn’t say what that is.

Read more

Rare is Cooked: Editor-in-Chief Bolts Site, Joins White House Writers Group

Uh oh. Trouble in paradise?

White House Writers Group has swooped in and hired Brett Decker, founding Editor-in-Chief of the new conservative digital media outlet Rare. After just five months he walked from the Cox Media-owned site along with Deputy Editor James Robbins and Op-ed Editor Anneke Green.

The release from White House Writers Group says Decker has spent the last several months building up the site and building it to 1.6 million page views per week by its third full month.

See what WHWG’s Managing Director had to say. Read more

A Little Birdy Tells Us…

That The Blaze will soon open its office doors at 400 North Capitol in the same building as MSNBC, C-SPAN and Fox News. Glenn Beck‘s right-wing news outlet is definitely upping its presence in D.C. with three new recent hires here that include Oliver Darcy, Sara Carter and White House Correspondent Fred Lucas as reported by Politico Playbook. S.E. Cupp is planning to move here for CNN’s “Crossfire.” Her fiancé John Goodwin, who lives here,  is former chief of staff to Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho). Others in the D.C. bureau include Madeleine Morgenstern, Liz Klimas, Becket Adams, and Eddie Scarry, who recently landed on our “Journos Who Could be Porn Stars”  list – because of his intriguing name, of course, and nothing else.

According to Quantcast the site enjoys 10.5 million unique visitors per month. Internal numbers, we hear, like most pubs’ internal numbers, are allegedly higher.

A spokesman for The Blaze had no comment.

Kiplinger Gives Back to Veterans

File this under random acts of kindness.

Kiplinger Washington Editors are offering a free service this Veteran’s Day. The publishers of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, and its partner Social Security Solutions, the leading provider of Social Security optimizing software, will offer veterans free access to a “powerful online tool” that can help them get the most from Social Security. Available online on November 11, 2013, the free-for-a-day offer is being sponsored by Wells Fargo and has the potential to add more than $25 billion to help finance retirement for our nation’s veterans.

Ifill and Woodruff will be Co-Anchors

Some exciting news that should please Washington’s female journalists.

Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff will be co-anchors and and managing editors for the “PBS NewsHour.” The news was announced today at the Television Critics Association Press Tour. On Monday through Thursday, the women will co-anchor the news together. On Friday, Woodruff will fly solo as Ifill hosts “Washington Week.”

In other “PBS NewsHour” news, a release states that Hari Sreenivasan will be a senior correspondent. In addition, three correspondents have been given specific areas of content responsibility and will be contributing on a daily basis to both the broadcast and online operation. Jeffrey Brown was named Chief Correspondent for Arts, Culture, and Society. Ray Suarez was named Chief National Correspondent. And Margaret Warner was named Chief Foreign Correspondent.

WaPo: SOLD for $250 million!

WaPo announced today that it has signed a contract to be sold to Amazon CEO Jeffrey Bezos.

“Everyone at the Post Company and everyone in our family has always been proud of The Washington Post — of the newspaper we publish and of the people who write and produce it,” said Donald Graham, Chairman and CEO of The Washington Post Company. “I, along with Katharine Weymouth and our board of directors, decided to sell only after years of familiar newspaper-industry challenges made us wonder if there might be another owner who would be better for the Post (after a transaction that would be in the best interest of our shareholders). Jeff Bezos’ proven technology and business genius, his long-term approach and his personal decency make him a uniquely good new owner for the Post.”

Bezos: “I understand the critical role the Post plays in Washington, DC and our nation, and the Post’s values will not change. Our duty to readers will continue to be the heart of the Post, and I am very optimistic about the future.”

Bezos has asked Katharine Weymouth, CEO and Publisher of The Washington Post; Stephen P. Hills, President and General Manager; Martin Baron, Executive Editor; and Fred Hiatt, Editor of the Editorial Page to continue in those roles.

Weymouth: “With Mr. Bezos as our owner, this is the beginning of an exciting new era. I am honored to continue as CEO and Publisher. I have asked the entire senior management team at all of the businesses being sold to continue in their roles as well.”

UPDATE: From a WaPo insider commenting on the office meeting….”Silence for much of the meeting. not really anger or dread, but more wondering what’s next. And there weren’t a lot of questions. People gave Don a nice ovation at the end. It feels like people understand that this is something that had to be done, and even Don said something to the effect of ‘Jeff can do things for this paper that we can’t.’ (Not a direct quote)”

More details on the sale… Read more

Foreign Affairs Sees Boost in Subscriptions

Foreign Affairs is touting its print and digital prowess today with stats showing a boost of 5 percent for the first half of 2013.

According to the semi-annual report published by the Alliance for Audited Media (AAM), the audit reports that total subscriptions between January 1, 2013 and June 30, 2013 recorded a boost of 5 percent—from 129,385 to 137,649. This growth coincides with the magazine’s $5 increase of its annual subscription price from $44.95 to $49.95.

Other info: Print subscriptions increased by 4 percent—from 114,100 to 118,633. Included in this count are the mag’s 24,700 elite Plus subscribers, who receive the print and digital editions.

Speaking of digital readership, according to the report, that’s also on the rise—nearly 4,000 more subscribers, making it an increase of 24 percent. This brings the magazine’s audited digital audience to 19,016. In other words, nearly 44,000 audited readers—digital and Plus subscribers combined—now enjoy Foreign Affairs issue replicas in a digital format. The magazine also reaches an additional 7,500 readers who receive nonreplica editions on eReader partners.

“In a world of increasingly frantic, short-hand, and superficial public discourse, there are a lot of readers who still crave serious arguments from knowledgeable authors. We’re delighted to cater to that audience, wherever they may be and however they want to engage our content,” no Gideon Rose, editor of Foreign Affairs.

Changes Abound at ABC7

Starting this weekend, WJLA ABC7 is launching a new show on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. called “Government Matters” with Morris Jones. The program will focus on the world of government contracting. And “Washington Business Report” is getting a new time slot at 11 a.m. immediately following ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos.”

This Sunday’s “Washington Business Report” has an interview with gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, where they will discuss at length the controversy surrounding Star Scientific that has dogged his campaign and is engulfing Governor McDonnell, as well as Cuccinelli’s views on business, the economy and how to grow jobs in Virginia. He’ll also take on Terry McAuliffe for saying he’s too conservative for business leaders considering locating in the Commonwealth.