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Roll Call’s Next Editor: Who Will it Be?

As Roll Call searches high and low for a new editor, we bring you the prospects and tell you why each candidate will get the job offer and why he or she will not. CQ Roll Call has faced a lot of changes, layoffs and departures this year and more tweaks are on the way with the official merging of CQ Today and Roll Call in November. But first things first — with the recent departure of Editor Scott Montgomery to NPR, they need a new leader, a strong hand who needs authority and freedom to revamp the publication. In the interim they’ve placed CQ Roll Call Deputy Executive Editor Randy Wynn in charge. There’s a great nostalgia and affection for Roll Call among the alums around town. People want to see it succeed. But where is management going with it? In the words of a source long familiar with the inner workings of the publication, searching for a new editor is like asking someone to be captain of a team. The worry is, no one knows what sport they’re playing. The hopefuls are in no significant order. Nor have all of these folks been formally approached by management. CQ Roll Call Publicist Rebecca Gale declined to comment on the list of hopefuls. We wrote all the potential editors, most of whom either declined to comment or didn’t respond to a request for comment.

1. Emily Pierce: Roll Call Senate Editor

Why she’ll get it: A great editor and well-liked by reporters. She came up through the ranks and has been in the newsroom for about a decade. Can anyone remember Roll Call having a female at the helm? Would be a nice touch.

Why she won’t: She lacks experience as a upper level manager. “Although she’s fantastic I doubt they’d go for her,” one spy remarked.

2. Jason Dick: Roll Call House Editor; he has formally applied for the job.
Why he’ll get it: Has the experience from National Journal managing a daily. He is respected and has established relationships with people in the newsroom. He is nothing like his name.
Why he won’t: Too much of a newcomer. Much to its detriment, Roll Call likes old school.
3. David Hawkings: Editor of the CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing
Why he’ll get it: He’s a longtime editor at CQRC, intelligent and an old newspaper soul. He knows the company inside and out and has held numerous editorial positions. From his bio: Senior editor for legislative affairs; co-editor of “Politics in America,” CQ Roll Call‘s signature reference work on members of Congress; the weekly magazine’s economics editor and its congressional affairs editor; and managing editor of the CQ Daily Monitor, the predecessor of CQ Today.
Why he won’t: Because he’s too old school, a dinosaur, and how to manage Roll Call and what direction to take it in is something of a mystery at the moment. Paper needs to move forward. And frankly, sources tell us, it’s just not his thing.
4. Paul Singer:”I wish Roll Call nothing but the best of luck and I’m not talking to anybody about a job there,” Singer said, when we posed questions on the matter.
Why he’ll get it: Devoted to Roll Call. He’s the dark horse candidate and also a natural teacher — he teaches journalism at Georgetown.
Why he won’t get it: Because he jumped ship for USA Today, where he now works. What’s more, there is no offer or discussion on the table.
5. Randy Wynn: Acting, temporary Roll Call Editor
Why he’ll get it: If they suspect he might be good in the interim, maybe they’re priming and testing him for more treacherous waters.
Why he won’t: He has been at the publication since 1997. Despite a wealth of experience — eight years previously at Thomson Newspapers Washington Bureau — he doesn’t have the newsroom street cred and loyalty that some of the others do.

 

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