Suffice it to say that CQ-Roll Editorial Director Mike Mills is having a “tough day.” As we’ve been reporting today, Roll Call‘s Editor Charlie Mitchell has resigned. In the past hour, top brass has met with a fiery staff who isn’t ready to let their leader go. In fact, this has been a shock – few, if any, knew this was coming.
“We’re all going to miss Charlie,” Mills told FishbowlDC in a phone interview. “He has been a terrific steward of Roll Call‘s mission and its values and the staff holds him in very high regard.”
That’s putting it mildly. At the internal meeting today, there were tears and anger – and applause so lengthy that it was fitting for a U.S. President. “People did not know this was coming,” Mills said. “I guess they were surprised, yeah.”
Mills explains the departure as “inevitable” but not without regret. “Charlie and I concluded together that we need fresh leadership at the top to help Roll Call continue its leadership position as the must-read publication on Capitol Hill, ” he said. “I think that’s the best way to put it.”
In the year and a half that they worked together, Mills said he and Mitchell, who arrived to Roll Call in 2006 and became editor in 2007, “accomplished a hell of a lot.” But he added, “I think along the way, changes I think we both saw were necessary were not happening fast enough. What I need is a change agent from the outside who can build on what Charlie and I have accomplished so far.”
But the staff doesn’t agree…