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Michelle Jaconi: The FishbowlDC Interview

Say hello to Michelle Jaconi, the new executive producer of CNN’s State of the Union with John King.

Before tag-teaming with King, Jaconi was a longtime producer for Meet the Press with Tim Russert– she began there in 1997 as an intern.

What does your morning reading list include? I like to get my fingers smudged with newsprint… and read the A sections of the major newspapers back to back. I scan the headlines from the NY tabloids for gut checks; and read my favorite blogs (Chris Cillizza‘s “The Fix,” Mike Allen‘s “Politico Playbook,” CNN’s “Political Ticker,” Mark Halperin‘s “The Page”) generally on my blackberry en route to the office (don’t tell the police).

What single person has played the biggest role or has had the biggest influence on your career? Tim Russert. He was my first boss and one of my first heroes. He had a rare and powerful combination: He had the best instincts in the industry and paired that with the strongest work ethic. The result was undeniable: He was the best in the business. He not only influenced my career but continues to influence my life – as a journalist and as a parent. I think of him- and his smile- every single day.

How many suits do you own? A lady would never tell such a thing… Lest her husband put an end to one of her favorite activities…

What is the name of your cell phone ring? The curve classic.

How many emails do you receive a day? How many do you answer? You know what, I really have never counted. I am in a constant battle with my inbox. I am starting to miss the day of the facsimile.

Where do you power-lunch? I much prefer breakfast. Four Seasons in Georgetown (it is so nice to start the day with a civilized setting) or Bistro Bis on the Hill (the tablecloths– perfect for a producer).

What’s your favorite or go-to drink? Hmmm… Depends on my mood. Beer on Opening Day. Wine with dinner. Ice Water before the show and a Margarita after.

Who is your favorite active journalist? John King. I wouldn’t have chosen to work for him unless I thought I could learn from him, and my gut was right. I am learning from his instincts and delight in reading his columns from around the country every week. I can’t think of many people in the industry who can do what he can do so seamlessly- from writing and capturing the struggle of the every man, to going toe to toe with the leaders of the free world, to driving the technology behind the Magic Wall.

What subject line in an email grabs your attention? Say it Ain’t So!

What section of the Sunday Washington Post do you read first? I am a home subscriber, so I read all the fun sections on Saturday (Sunday Style, Travel… ) You can too! Save the newspaper industry! Subscribe today!

If you ran a doctor’s office or a bank, what cable news station would you have on in your waiting room or lobby? CNN of course!

Taking a cue from The Chris Matthews Show here, tell us something we don’t know… I have always believed Opening Day should be a national holiday, and in that spirit, the State of the Union staff kicked off our spring with the Nats on Monday.

Continued after the jump…


Who would you most enjoy seeing parodied on SNL? Rick Sanchez (aka Mr. Twitter)

Leno or Letterman? Stewart or Colbert? I am a California girl, so Leno wins hands down. I love people who enjoy what they are doing. And as for the latter question, I pose my own: Colbert, great comedic talk show host, or the Greatest?

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