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Politico’s Dueling Columnists and Brewing Battle With NJ

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Here it is – NYT‘s Jeremy Peters scoop on Politico’s hiring of The Atlantic‘s Michael Kinsley and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough to be dueling columnists. Scarborough will stay with MSNBC; Kinsley is now at Politico.

For now, columns will appear once a week. That is expected to evolve into dueling coverage of larger events such as State of the Union.

In his piece, Peters discusses the brewing battleground between Politico Vs. The Atlantic Media Company’s NJ. NJ has recently lured less known reporters like Tim Alberta, Coral Davenport, who sources say was well-liked but not a good fit for Politico, and Josh Kraushaar away from Politico. Politico, too, has snagged talent away from NJ – first Rich Cohen and now, Kinsley. NJ recently landed a big hire in Fox News’s Major Garrett and other prominent D.C. names such as AP‘s Ron Fournier in June to be Editor-in-Chief and more recently, WSJ’s Susan Davis.

An excerpt from the NYT piece:

Mr. Scarborough, who will remain with MSNBC, said he did not intend to write a column so ideologically rigid it became predictable. Readers have tired of that model, he said. “There are some columns, even at the great papers, that I just skim because I know how they’re going to end even before I read the first sentence,” he said. “The last thing I’m going to do is get in an ideological corner and preach to the choir.”

Mr. Kinsley, who will leave The Atlantic, could not be reached for comment. His departure will be a blow to the Atlantic Media Company, which has been establishing a stable of journalistic talent in an effort to broaden its reach in Washington. The company owns National Journal, which has hired away journalists from places like The Wall Street Journal and Politico as it prepares to redesign its magazine and start a breaking news and political analysis Web site that will compete directly with Politico.

Linda Douglass, V.P., Head of Corporate and Strategic Communications for Atlantic Media Company, had this to say on Kinsley leaving The Atlantic: “Mike is a terrific talent and we wish him well.”

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