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Shake Ups

Add MJ Lee to List of POLITICO Departures, Joins CNN Digital Politics

20140813js_mj_lee_005You can add MJ Lee to the growing wave of POLITICO reporters and editors who’ve been poached by CNN Digital Politics.  For those of you counting, Lee makes 5… Rachel Smolkin, Steven Sloan, Jedd Rosche and Eric Bradner all switched teams this fall.

“It’s as if Rachel built an arc and we’re following her two by two,” said a former POLITICO staffer turned CNNer who asked to remain anonymous.

But they’re not just flooding (pun intended) to CNN. MJ is the fourth POLITICO exit announced this week.  Alex Burns, Gregg Birnbaum and Dan Berman all jumped ship for gigs at new outlets in the past few days.  Sounds like a trend.  As for MJ, her hire was announced today via internal memo obtained by FishbowlDC.  See the note from Rachel Smolkin and CNN Money’s Lex Haris after the jump. Read more

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Ross Levitt to Lead CNN’s National Security Team In Washington

07356131ded962f5e9bc393135297662Ross Levitt will be joining CNN’s Washington bureau to lead their National Security team, announced managing editor of the bureau, Adam Levine (no, not that one), on Twitter.

Ross, who has been with CNN since 2006, most recently worked as a field producer at their New York bureau, covering national security and law enforcement related stories. Deputy bureau chief, Virginia Moseley, and Levine announced the move in a staff memo.

We are thrilled to announce that Ross Levitt is joining the Washington bureau to be the supervising producer for the national security team, working with Jim Sciutto, Barbara Starr, Elise Labott and our incredible producing team.

Ross has been a standout producer out of the New York bureau for years where he has been a big contributor on national security and law enforcement coverage.  He has covered every major stateside terror investigation, helping CNN get exclusive information and video on the Times Square bomber, Boston marathon bombings and Najibullah Zazi, as well as Read more

Gregg Birnbaum Leaves POLITICO, Joins New York Daily News

More news of shakeups out of POLITICO. Gregg Birnbaum announced yesterday on Twitter that he would be stepping down as deputy managing editor at POLITICO, and will join the New York Daily News as their new managing editor and head of political content.

This morning, Colin Myler, NYDN editor in chief, announced Birnbaum’s appointment in a staff memo:

I am delighted to announce that Gregg Birnbaum is appointed Managing Editor, Head of Political Content.

Gregg is joining us from  Politico where he is currently a Deputy Managing Editor, supervising coverage of breaking news.

Before that, he was a government and politics reporter and editor at the New York Post holding the position of Political Editor for 10 years,  managing bureaus in Washington, Albany and City Hall.

Gregg will be joining us on January 5.

On a personal note, I’d like to thank Joel for his sterling work for the past two years. He has been a valued colleague and I wish him every success in his new executive role at New York 1.

Colin

Birnbaum’s departure from POLITICO is part of a recent exodus of big names from the news organization that includes Dan Berman and Alex Burns.

Cillizza On the Vilification Of Chris Hughes

CHRIS.CILLIZZA

Amid all the bashing of The New Republic owner, Chris Hughes, following a wave of massive shake-ups at the magazine last week, The Post’s Chris Cillizza took a moment yesterday to remind everyone that Hughes is not, in fact, the worst person in the world.

A lot has been said about the moves. Everything from eulogies for The New Republic to Daniel Snyder comparisons have been launched in a shaming campaign against the magazine’s owner. But as he wrote yesterday afternoon on “The Fix,” Cillizza poses the question: “Have we gone overboard in the “Chris Hughes is the worst person ever” sweepstakes? And, if so, why?”

The answer he seems to give is ‘yes,’ highlighting several key issues as to why. Firstly, Cillizza points out that people love Frank Foer and hate Chris Hughes. The former roommate of Mark Zuckerberg has cast himself as “the Montgomery Buns figure,” while Foer would inevitably play the role of “the forever-altruistic Ned Flanders.”

Read more

‘CBS Evening News’ Offers Inside Look of the Washington National Cathedral’s Restoration

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 13.50.09Last night on the “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley,” CBS News correspondent Chip Reid offered viewers an inside look at the work being done to restore the Washington National Cathedral since an August 2011 earthquake shook the building and caused massive damage.

In case you missed it, click through for CBS’s rare look at the artwork inside and work being done to restore America’s second biggest cathedral. Read more

Tell Me No! – NPR Cuts ‘Tell Me More’ Along With 28 Positions

NPR’s David Foldenfilk reports this afternoon that National Public Radio “would cease broadcast of the weekday program ‘Tell Me More’ on Aug. 1 and eliminate 28 positions as part of a larger effort to end the company’s persistent budget deficits.” Eight of the 28 positions on the chopping block are currently vacant.

Host of the program Michel Martin and its executive producer Carline Watson are set to remain at the station.

Click on over to NPR for the full announcement.

Former NYT Executive Editor Jill Abramson Delivers Wake Forest Commencement Address

abramson

via @WFNewsCenter

This morning at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC, ousted New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson delivered the university’s commencement address to graduates and their guests.

She opened her speech poking fun that her remarks have garnered so much media interest.

“I think the only real news here today is your graduation from this great university…I’m impressed that your achievements have attracted so much media attention, as well they should.”

Abramson’s speech intertwined the topics of resilience and family, recalling, “Very early last Thursday, my sister called me. She said ‘I know dad would be as proud of you today as the day you became executive editor of The New York Times.’ I’d been fired the previous day. So I knew what she was trying to say. It meant more to our father to see us deal with a set back and try to bounce back, than to watch how we handled our successes.”

Read more

Dean Baquet to Replace Jill Abramson as Executive Editor of NYTimes

The New York TimesAccording to The New York Times, Executive Editor Jill Abramson is “unexpectedly leaving” her position as top editor at the newspaper and will be replaced by managing editor Dean Baquet. Abramson served as executive editor since 2011 and was the first woman in the role.

According to New York Times coverage of the announcement, “The reasons for the switch were not immediately clear.”

Baquet will be the first African-American executive editor of the newspaper. He returned to the Times as chief of its Washington bureau and an assistant managing editor in 2007 after being fired the previous November as editor of the Los Angeles Times for refusing to cut jobs from his newsroom.

40 McClatchy Tribune Information Services Positions to be Cut

layoffsAs many as 40 McClatchy Tribune Information Services (MCT) employees will lose their jobs as Tribune Publishing takes over the second largest supplemental photo wire in the U.S.

“A portion of the jobs based in Washington will be part of the ongoing wire service or remain with the bureau,” said McClatchy vice president for news and Washington editor Anders Gyllenhaal in the memo posted to Poynter. “But a majority of the Washington positions will be phased out over the course of the summer as the move to Chicago is complete.”

A source among the 40 being laid off said that two positions – an IT professional and a visual editor – are among those being filled in the McClatchy Washington bureau, which will remain in place but with photo content instead coming from the Tribune Content Agency. Since pursuing this story, we’ve received a position description for Visual Editor. A request for confirmation to McClatchy’s Washington bureau chief regarding positions being filled has yet to be answered.

We’re told the layoffs will be phased in over the coming weeks with the first group’s last day being May 28, and second group departing July 3. A third and final group’s last day is slated for August 1.

While many are likely on the brink of unemployment, we hear from our source that morale is still high, and that employees are still doing everything they can do “because they love doing it.”

3:00pm Update: McClatchy Washington bureau management confirmed that a total of four positions are currently being filled in the bureau - two positions as part of the digital team, an IT professional, and a visual editor. A clarification has also been made that McClatchy Washington bureau photo content will now be provided by Tribune Content Agency, rather than no longer from MCT.

Washington Monument Reopens to Public

 

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