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Posts Tagged ‘Bob Merry’

Bob Merry Resigns From Stratfor

In an e-mail bearing the subject line, “A Fond Farewell,” Stratfor Publisher Bob Merry announces that he’s leaving the company since coming on board as Publisher in January. His reference to “George” in the opening line is George Friedman, the publication’s founder and CEO. Merry writes:

I wish to add my own sentiments to George’s expression of a few minutes ago. I’m going to miss this place and all that it represents and all elements of it – the mission, the energy, the Intell group with its massive body of knowledge, my own employees with their business acumen, my fellow execs, and my irrepressible leader of the past nine months, George. Therefore, my resignation was tendered with competing sentiments. But sometimes in life it becomes necessary to change course and redirect one’s energies, and I have concluded this is one such time for me. I shall cherish the memories I have accumulated at STRATFOR and hope to maintain the many friendships I have gained also. And I have nothing but the highest hopes for the company’s soaring success into the future as far as the eye can see.

Friedman’s note to staff after the jump

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CQ-Roll Call Group Freezing Out Bloomberg

ice-cubes.jpgRelations are getting icy between Bloomberg News and CQ-Roll Call Group.

A source at Bloomberg is saying that the CQ-Roll Call Group has refused to renew Bloomberg’s subscriptions to CQ’s congressional reporting services because, according to the source, “they now consider us a competitor.”

Access to CQ’s subscription-only services are considered must haves by many political journalists who rely on their legislative tracking, transcripts, and government documents to augment reporters’ work.

CQ-Roll Call Group would neither confirm nor deny that they had cut off Bloomberg’s subscription. But say sources, the freeze-out is the latest move in an underground battle playing out between Bloomberg and the recently merged publications formerly known as Congressional Quarterly and Roll Call, over Bloomberg’s plans to debut a congressional news service to compete with Capitol Hill publications, including CQ-Roll Call Group.

The top-secret Bloomberg project is known internally as BGov. Bloomberg sources say it will be devoted exclusively to tracking and covering Capitol Hill news. As FishbowlDC’s Matt Dornic has reported, the BGov project is expected to have a $100 million budget, and will create 40-50 editorial positions.

Bloomberg is keeping mum about the initiative, but hiring patterns appear to confirm the reports. In the past two months alone, the New York-based business news giant has poached healthcare reporter Drew Armstrong, banking/financial services policy reporter Phil Mattingly, and saleswoman Joanna Matthews from CQ. Bloomberg also convinced former CQ chief executive officer Bob Merry to join the board of advisors of BGov, as previously reported by FishbowlDC.

Ex-CQ CEO on Bloomberg BGov Board

The buzz is true and painful. Bob Merry, former CQ CEO, has accepted a position on the board of advisors for Bloomberg’s BGov enterprise, FishbowlDC has learned.

Merry’s primary job, however, is publisher of Austin-based Stratfor.

FishbowlDC Interview: Spy Guy Jeff Stein

stein4.jpg If you don’t read Jeff Stein‘s Spy Talk blog on, you’re missing out. It’s chocked full of quick reads about real spies, espionage, the CIA, FBI and Secret Service.

Don’t be scared off by its tag line “Intelligence for Thinking People” — I read it regularly. We caught up with CQ‘s resident spy guy for a FishbowlDC interview that required neither intelligence nor thinking. Here’s what we learned:

What does your morning reading list include? All the major nupes — WaPo, NYT, WSJ — in paper, since I’m allergic to electrons before coffee. In fact, I just started a new policy of not looking at my Blackberry until I’ve finished them.

How did you start writing your beat? SpyTalk, which began as a weekly column in 2005, was the joint idea of me and the top editors here — Bob Merry, David Rapp (both of whom have since left) and Mike Mills (who has just returned).

What was the proudest moment in your career? Maybe the successful 2002 debut of CQ/Homeland Security, which I was hired originally to launch, making money and winning an Online News Association award in its first year.

Have you ever been worried about your personal safety due to the nature of your beat? Only once, when my main source for stories about about U.S.-based anti-Castro Cuban terrorists, was murdered.

Who is your favorite fictional spy and why? Smiley, of course: Stoic, patient, clever and empathetic — to a point.

What’s your favorite spy book? “The Quiet American,” by Graham Greene.

What is the biggest misconception about spies or spying? That it’s anything like James Bond or Jack Bauer.

How many times have you visited the Spy Museum? It’s a great place to meet sources.

What working journalist do you respect the most (excluding CQ/RC)? Walter Pincus, investigative reporting’s Lou Gehrig.

What single person has played the biggest role or has had the biggest influence on your career? The late, great David Halberstam, who opened doors for me with editors in New York.

If you could spy on one person undetected, who would it be? Jane Harman. Just kidding. Osama Bin Laden, of course.

More Q&A after the jump…

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CQ Roasts & Toasts Bob Merry

Thursday wasn’t just another day in the life of CQ CEO Bob Merry whose departure from his home of 22 years is imminent, it was party central.

Part One: Cocktail reception on the rooftop of The Hay Adams with colleagues Mike Riley, Bruce Drake, Ken Sands and Loesje Troglia.

As happens at these events, the tributes were plentiful, but the crowd favorite was from Victoria Monroe of the advertising department. “Actually, I’m very glad Bob could join us tonight. He initially said he couldn’t make it because he was going to be hiking the Appalachian Trail… Before speaking tonight I had two thoughts. First, how do you toast a charismatic, popular, visionary and successful leader? And, second, I am so glad that that is not at all relevant tonight.”

And, “Bob, we were hoping to get President Obama to call in and wish you well. We requested just 5 minutes of the President’s time, but the White House said he couldn’t do it. But Joe Biden did say he’d be glad to call in for about 3 hours,” Monroe went on.

Part Two: Dinner with friends and colleagues at Teatro Goldoni hosted by publicist Janet Donovan, who is also a publicist for CQ.

That portion of the evening was “off the record,” but we managed to snag this one photo from them. In attendance: Al Hunt, Jeff Stein, Craig Crawford, Mort Kondracke, Myra McPherson, David Rapp, Bruce Drake, Margaret Warner, Keith White, Jerome Cramer, and Judy Woodruff.

Taegan and Todd Talk Obama’s Curveball Politics at CQ Breakfast

Chuck Todd and Taegan Goddard

Steve Clemons and Taegan Goddard

Taegan Goddard, Steve Clemons and NBC’s Chuck Todd were on hand for breakfast and a political insight panel hosted by CQ and Political Wire yesterday. We told you earlier this month about the new relationship between the two. CQ’s President and Editor-in-Chief Bob Merry was also a panelist.

The topic on hand- Goddard’s theory that President Obama is playing “curveball” instead of the hardball politics that have consumed Washington over the years. He says, “Politics used to be compared to ‘playing hardball’ — named for the baseball thrown faster than a speeding bullet straight for a batter’s head. That’s no longer the case. In the Obama era, the sport can now better be defined as ‘playing curveball’ — after the moving, shifting baseball thrown to fool a batter into swinging wildly and missing.”

Goddard will also lead a live online discussion “Does Obama practice a different kind of politics?” today at 2pm. Tune in here.

CQ and Taegan Goddard Kick Off New Venture with Breakfast and Panel

We told you earlier this month about the new relationship between CQ and Political Wire. Tomorrow morning they’ll kick this off with a breakfast and panel hosted by CQ and Taegan Goddard. Panelists include CQ’s President and Editor-in-Chief Bob Merry and NBC’s Chuck Todd. Breakfast will be at 8am at Charlie Palmer’s on Constitution Ave.

CQ Freezes 2009 Salaries

FishbowlDC has learned that CQ has instituted a salary freeze for 2009. CQ CEO Bob Merry convened all employees Friday to discuss the freeze and explained it as a hedge against the downside risks of the looming recession.

One source tells FishbowlDC that most attendees accepted his explanation that CQ “fundamentals are strong” based on the subscription-based revenues, expanding web products, and the overall increasing market demand. Even advertising revenues were still expected to rise next year, but those expectations were tamped down, forcing the salary freeze move, according to Merry.

Bonuses, hiring, and unspecified “acquisitions” are still slated to progress as anticipated.

Merry’s full staff memo after the jump…

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More Tiara!


Lauren Nelson (Miss America 2007) with CQ Editor-in-Chief Bob Merry at the “Broadway at the Ritz” after-party last night.

Photo by Neshan H. Naltchayan

Mike Riley To Replace David Rapp At CQ

From Bob Merry:

    I am delighted to report the new Editor of CQ Publications will be Michael G. Riley, editor of the Roanoke Times. When he starts at CQ on March 5, Mike will bring to CQ the three requirements I identified as crucial for the job: 1) excellent editorial credentials and a commitment to the highest standards and values of journalism; 2) a strong background and proven expertise in electronic publishing; and 3) extensive experience in business strategy and operations.

    Mike will not be altogether new to our operations. After a three-year stint as executive producer of, a political Internet site he founded for TIME-CNN in 1995, he served CQ as temporary editorial director of new media. During that six-month consulting stint, he told me he was looking for just the right opportunity to flex his skills as news executive and new media innovator. When the chance to run the newsroom in Roanoke materialized, he jumped at it.

    During his eight years in Roanoke, Mike has developed a national reputation in our industry as a highly competent and highly creative executive with particular skills at bringing together traditional and web-based media. The Roanoke Times website is recognized widely as a national leader among newspaper websites, as evidenced by some of the awards garnered just in the past year: Virginia Press Association award for convergence; NAA Digital Edge Award for Most Innovative Multimedia Storytelling; EPpy for best newspaper-affiliated Internet service (fewer than 1 million monthly visitors); and Online News Association General Excellence in Online Journalism.

    Mike’s lifelong commitment to journalism is reflected in his career: He started at the Lexington (N.C.) Dispatch in 1981 after graduation from Wake Forest University. In 1983 he went to Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government for a master’s degree, then joined Time magazine as a correspondent. He served as a reporter in Washington and Los Angeles, including a stint as a presidential campaign correspondent, then became southern bureau chief in Atlanta for three years before moving to the new media side of the business as founder of Along the way he was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard during the 1994-1995 academic year.

    Mike is married, has two daughters, and pursues a number of interests, including reading, tennis and basketball.

    Please join me in welcoming Mike Riley to CQ and wishing him every success and enjoyment in his challenging new job.