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Posts Tagged ‘Andrew Rashbass’

Afternoon Reading List 09.19.13.

Reuters’ reconsiders developing their new direct-to-reader platform: In a NYT story written Wednesday by Leslie Kaufman,  she reports that Andrew Rashbass, chief executive of Reuters, announced that further development of the new platform “Next” will end immediately. Budgetary restraints and overruns were cited as reasons for ending the project. Reuters will now focus on developing local-language sites for their websites, and will utilize as much work from “Next” as they can.

Why you should read it: Not only was the anticipated “Next” project cancelled, but Jim Roberts, head of Reuters Digital, is leaving the company, saying he won’t be leaving news and stay tuned for his next move.

More on Kathie Lee being inappropriate after the jump…

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The Economist’s Rashbass to Reuters

Andrew Rashbass, group chief executive of The Economist Group, is heading to Reuters to be CEO of its news business. He will based in London.

Was his decision rash amid all the financial turmoil and change going on at CQ Roll Call? He spent 15 years at The Economist Group, which owns CQ Roll Call.

Thomson-Reuters announced the news this morning. Even Reuters America Latina made the announcement, writing, “Thomson Reuters dice designa a Andrew Rashbass como jefe del negocio de medios and noticias.”

Donald Trump Looks to Buy CQ Roll Call

Billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump has made the publishers of CQ Roll Call an offer to purchase the publication, FishbowlDC has learned. Details on the deal have not been finalized but the offer is said to be close to $500,000 for all publishing rights and current staff.

“We’re getting out while ahead,” said Andrew Rashbass, chief executive of The Economist Group, which owns CQ Roll Call. “Well, ‘ahead.’ You know what I mean.” Rashbass wouldn’t get into specifics of the terms of the offer but said he’s “just glad” somebody wants to purchase the publication.

CQ Roll Call has undergone a series of big changes of late. In January there were roughly 30 layoffs, mostly on the business side but a few also in editorial.

“This is huge,” Trump told FishbowlDC. “I’m not ready to say just yet. I have to consider my highly successful, highly rated show ‘The Apprentice’ and how owning a newspaper will affect that. So we’ll see. But I’m thinking I’m probably going to buy it. Maybe.”

FBDC has also learned… Read more

A Little Birdy Tells Us…

That Roll Call could see its Friday print issue disappear in several month’s time, but pointedly before the end of 2013. The Economist Group‘s Chief Executive Andrew Rashbass was in town visiting this week. We’re told he was completely hands on and even went on a sales call with CQ Roll Call‘s Senior VP and Publisher, Advertising, Beth Bronder.

UPDATE: Looking at this from another angle, some journalists at Roll Call have expressed that it works better to not have a Friday paper because the stories that go in the paper are usually more enterprise type pieces. Most weeks, Thursday and Friday offers reporters a good chance to do reporting for a Monday story that is filed Friday

CQ Roll Call Biz Side Implodes

CQ Roll Call called an all hands sales meeting at approximately 6:30 a.m. for every rep in the office, FishbowlDC has learned. They were told to cancel all appointments for the day.

At the meeting, CQ Roll Call Senior V.P. Jim Gale told the entire sales team that they ran out of money and that they cannot pay them for February or March. In layman’s terms, ads and sales reps have their comp plans based on certain numbers, which usually include a commission on their sales. So if they are trying to pay less, they may remove commission on sales, or say no commission for the month.

Though we received information about the general news at least a week ago, a second email about the morning meeting came in today. It isn’t clear whether the early morning meeting with reps occurred this morning or on another morning in the past two weeks. We’re told the Ads department is next on the chopping block.

As it just so happens, Read more

Bloomberg Pays Off Economist for Unauthorized Use of Information

In a joint statement released this morning from Bloomberg and CQ Roll Call, Bloomberg announced that it has paid an undisclosed amount to CQ Roll Call for the unauthorized use of files by former CQ Roll Call employees now working for Bloomberg.

“The Economist Group and Bloomberg have discovered that certain former CQ employees now employed by Bloomberg were able to use the log-ins and passwords supplied to them during their employment by CQ to continue to access such information while working for Bloomberg and allowed a small number of other Bloomberg employees to do so. The parties have taken appropriate action to ensure that such access did not continue. In addition, Bloomberg has paid an unspecified amount to The Economist Group as compensation for such unauthorized access.”

CQ Roll Call PR had no comment on the matter.

Andrew Rashbass, CEO of The Economist Group said: “I appreciate the way Bloomberg have handled this. I have the highest regard for their journalistic ethics. I am confident that this conduct will not reoccur.”

Norman Pearlstine, Bloomberg’s Chief Content Officer, said: “Bloomberg appreciates that The Economist Group brought its concerns to Bloomberg’s attention, and is pleased that the parties were able to resolve those concerns in a professional and constructive manner.”

White Named Top Dog at CQ Roll Call

Andrew Rashbass, CEO of the Economist Group, today announced that Keith White has been upped to Executive Vice President & Managing Director for CQ/Capitol Advantage.  The promotion places him at the top of the newsgroup’s totem pole, making Mike Mills a direct report to White.

In his memo to CQ Roll Call employees, Rashbass praised White for his leadership: “Keith’s expertise in information services and his knowledge of our market make him uniquely qualified for the role. Keith has shown clarity, decisiveness and leadership since we reorganized CQ Roll Call earlier this year and I am confident he is the right person to lead the business.”

White joined Congressional Quarterly in 2001 as the General Manager of CQ’s professional publishing division. Before CQ, Keith served as the vice president of publishing and product development for LexisNexis, and held positions at AOL and The Washington Post. Keith also worked as an editor and writer for various publications.

Full memo from Rashbass after the jump.

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CQ Roll Call Forges Ahead Amidst Major Changes

All eyes are on CQ Roll Call Associate Director Keith White to step into the shoes of Managing Director and Executive V.P. Laurie Battaglia. Battaglia’s sudden departure from CQ Roll Call was announced Tuesday. She had been with the company for 23 years.

“It’s been a great time,” Battaglia said by phone Wednesday afternoon, saying she felt she wanted to keep things positive. “The people are fantastic. Sometimes it’s just time to move on.”

White has made it clear he wants her position. The search is underway, but if The Economist Group’s CEO Andrew Rashbass agrees, it’s his. It was Rashbass who tipped employees off that White is up for the job. FishbowlDC has requested comment from White.

Battaglia has not announced where she will go next. “I don’t think she has laid her plans out yet,” said Editorial Director Mike Mills in a phone interview with FishbowlDC Tuesday afternoon, who said Battaglia’s departure “seemed sudden,” but “wasn’t as sudden as it seemed. I think it sort of crept up on everybody.”

Mills said he was not involved in Battaglia’s departure, though it is clear he was heavily involved in Editor Charlie Mitchell leaving the publication last fall, a move that triggered much grief throughout the newsroom. “I was not a part of any negotiation,” Mills said with a sigh that sounded like relief. “Refreshingly distant on the editorial side.”

He sung Battaglia’s praises effusively. “I gotta say though, I’m really going to miss Laurie,” he said. “She has been a terrific boss and a legendary leader over these 23 years.” He said he had spoken to her since the news, but didn’t want to characterize the conversation or say whether she was upset. “I can’t say enough about how much she brought to the company. The Economist gets  a third of its profits from CQ Roll Call. That was all her. She was a pioneer int his market. She has also been an inspiration as a woman leader. We just celebrated her being chosen as women who mean business by the Washington Business Journal a few months ago. Obviously I wish her the best and we’re friends and we’re going to continue to be friends. I’m very, very sad to see her leaving. She always wants what’s best for the company. I just feel badly.”

Editorial staff, meanwhile, was shocked by the news…

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Battaglia Leaves Roll Call

An internal memo from Andrew Rashbass, Chief Executive of The Economist Group, which owns CQ Roll Call, announces that longtime Managing Director of CQ Roll Call Laurie Battaglia is leaving the company. Staff learned the news just moments ago.

See the internal memo…

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CQ-Roll Call CEO Visits Washington, Tense Meetings Ensue

The Economist Group’s CEO Andrew Rashbass, who runs both CQ and Roll Call, was in Washington, D.C. Wednesday from London. FishbowlDC has learned of tense meetings he has held with sales staff as of late in which ultimatums were issued and frustrations expressed. Sales staff discussed with him what could be done to combat other Hill publications — the big problem being Politico.

In one meeting, staff was told the results of a private survey they commissioned. The conclusions: The Hill was “the easiest sales team to work with” and Politico offered the “best product.” Sources tell FishbowlDC, “It left the sales team demoralized.”

Roll Call sales employees said they need “more guns” to compete with Politico, including marketing help. Rashbass allegedly turned them down. Sources say he warned them “they have until the end of the fiscal year [which for them is the end of March] to hit their goals or find new work.”

The Economist Group’s public relations department in London did not return requests for comment.

It’s no secret that Roll Call is the old bull of newspapers on Capitol Hill and has dominated issue advocacy ad sales for many years. But last year, that changed when Politico became the clear ad leader, “beating Roll Call most weeks, often decisively,” an industry insider explained. The source said “Politico often gets more ads than Roll Call and The Hill combined now. Online, Politico crushes Roll Call. This has caused deep unease inside Roll Call, which is cutting rates and targeting Politico advertisers with little success. An industry source says, “Roll Call‘s sales team complains Politico is too aggressive – and has been told to get off their butts and step up their game.”

Politico recently hired away Roll Call’s head of classified, and is said to be talking to other top business officials at Roll Call.