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Posts Tagged ‘Christina Bellantoni’

PBS ‘Newshour’ Producer Upped to Dep. Editor

Slow and steady wins the race? PBS Newshour’s Politics Producer Terence Burlij has been promoted to Deputy Politics Editor. He has been with the Newshour for a decade, starting out as a desk assistant in 2003.

In 2008 Burlij was promoted to associate producer and a year later moved up to producer. “That’s when he started producing the dozens of insightful political reports (both setups and long-form stories) that were our bread-and-butter throughout the most recent election cycle,” said a memo to staff from Executive Producer Linda Winslow and Political Director Christina Bellantoni.

They continued their praise about his dedication and passion, saying, Read more

Journos Turn Out for Karaoke

NBC News’ Ali Weinberg and Shawna Thomas were the biggest hits of the night last night at Karaoke in the Capital, an annual fundraising event at the Rock n’ Roll hotel in which journalists get on stage and sing. Many can actually carry a tune. Some horribly can’t, but it’s the cause, right? The event, hosted by The American Assoc. of Political Consultants, was billed as a “night of fun and bad singing.” All proceeds go to The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation.

Here’s the rundown of participants and what they sang… Read more

PBS NewsHour Hires Task Fiend

Christina Bellantoni, Political Director for PBS’s NewsHour, has announced her final hire for the upcoming election season. It’s Alex Bruns, who has been hired to be a Politics Production Assistant. He starts on July 16. His position is grant funded; he has gone through two rotations on their political team. “Simply put, there’s no task Alex won’t do,” she writes. Whoa!

See the internal memo…

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Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

Newt gives Chris Matthews a compliment (of sorts)

On MSNBC’s Morning Joe this morning, former GOP hopeful Newt Gingrich called Chris Matthews “slightly whacked” and says that’s why he’s kept his show for so long.

Ingraham dings Deutsch and Dr. Oz

“OMG–Donny Deutsch & Dr Oz talking G Spots on CNN now. Get a room!” — Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham. MSNBC Contributor Donny Deutsch filled in for CNN’s Piers Morgan last night. They also discussed healthy versus unhealthy livers.

Politico Playbook Weirdness

See what happens when Politico‘s Mike Allen takes several days off?

“Did anyone else get a May 17 version of Playbook delivered this morning?” — PBS Newshour’s Christina Bellantoni. WCP‘s Managing Editor Mike Madden quickly replied, “Haven’t gotten it yet at all today. Been pretty screwy for few weeks. I signed up for official version instead of Mikey’s send.”

Bird commits attempted thievery against journo

“Bird just scared the sh*t out of me as it tried to steal my muffin. #AttackCafe” — FBDC and The Blaze‘s Eddie Scarry in an early morning tweet. Eddie later told me, “Seriously, it was like that movie ‘The Birds.’ They’re the tiny harmless ones but I was honestly afraid because they travel in flocks.” He added, “One bird flew onto my muffin (that sounds dirty) and picked at it before I shooed it away. But then several came to gang up on it.” Be safe, Eddie.

From the Peanut Gallery…“Today’s Style section has got to be the dullest the Washington Post has ever produced!!!!” — DCRTV’s Dave Hughes, who is really like family to FBDC.

Guardian features condom q

“@guardianstyle wear a condom or use a condom?” — Jessica Lake. In response, Guardian Style replied,”That’s a very personal question for a grammar microblog, Jessica.”

Journo questions Tina’s news judgement

“Why does Tina Brown think Americans care about the #british royal family as much as she does?” — Barbara Slavin, Washington correspondent for

And now, a semi-polite request from The Daily Beast columnist and MSNBC Contributor Meghan McCain: “If you are going to excerpt my book without permission – please don’t bastardize the context of my statements. The book is meant to be read.” Her new book: America, You Sexy Bitch.

Highly Unnecessary Tweet of the Day

“Perfect park slope lunch: salami, mozzarella, eggplant and peppers sandwich from the pork store and granita from what used to be ozzies.” — The Nation‘s Ben Adler, who spent the bulk of Wednesday pouting about this item on The Nation‘s illustrious Editor-at-Large and MSNBC Host Chris Hayes. The only contender for this feature came from conservative blogger Robert Stacy McCain: “Just woke up from a LONG nap.” Thanks for sharing Stacy!

How to Make it About Me?

Here’s a new one. Use your birthday to get new readers.

“Thanks for the nice birthday messages! You can get me a present – please subscribe to the Morning Line,” wrote PBS NewsHour Political Director Christina Bellantoni over the weekend. She linked here.

Translation: F%$k the B-Day Messages, Read me!

Congressional Tattoo Story Gets Lots of Ink

One of the most entertaining stories we’ve read  lately was published this week by Roll Call’s John Stanton about tattoos in the U.S. Congress. Stanton let us know which members of Congress are sporting ink under their buttoned up suits. Some have small reminders of time in the service or of their heritage. Others, like Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) have half-sleeves that cover their upper arms. Stanton reports:

“So if, as lawmakers are so fond of saying, Congress is indeed a reflection of America, it would follow that some 60 Members of the House and 16 Senators have found themselves at least once under the gun, so to speak.”

Stanton revealed that he has ink of his own. He has a total of eight tattoos and he tells FBDC that his “right sleeve is almost done and my upper left arm is almost done. I have an ink well and quill tattoo, a tattoo of a harp carved from bog wood that my great grandmother brought from Ireland, among others.” Stanton’s stature combined with his well-known tattoos sparked plenty of instant reaction via Twitter on Tuesday.

Christina Bellantoni of PBS’ NewsHour says, “I’ve been waiting for this story for 2 years.” Mike Madden of Washington City Paper says, “File under ‘write what you know.’” USA Today’s Jackie Kucinich tweets, “It is pure poetry that @bigjohnrc wrote this story about lawmakers with ink.”

Yahoo’s Chris Moody wrote his own take on the Stanton’s piece and including that “he’s pretty much the perfect reporter to write the story.”

Say what you will about the competitive nature of journalism, we lost count of how many retweets and kind words were spread around the internet. It reached a feverish breaking point to where NY Mag’s obviously cantankerous Assoc. Editor Dan Amira snapped, “Ok, we get it Roll Call, you have an article on tattoos.”

While Stanton “outed” several members of Congress for having tattoos, it’s interesting to note that none of the lawmakers who admitted to having the ink would pose for a picture showcasing their body art. So, while these politicians will talk freely about their tats, they clearly still feel that there is a stigma attached to coming clean with their body art.

Drucker Upped to Associate Politics Editor at CQ Roll Call

Roll Call has been quietly grooming Senate reporter David Drucker for a new position: Associate Politics Editor for CQ Roll Call. It’s a role that hadn’t been filled ever since Roll Call‘s Christina Bellantoni left to become Political Director for PBS’ NewsHour. In a phone interview with FishbowlDC Monday, Drucker, a Malibu native, shed light on his career, a physical altercation he once had with actor Gary Busey‘s son, Jake, and why he thinks Hollywood celebrities seek Washington’s limelight.

What will you be doing in your new role? I’m going to sort of be a deputy, but I’m going to write regularly both in print and for At the Races campaign blog.

How do you feel about the switch? It’s exciting. When I originally came to Roll Call in ’05, I was on the politics team. As much as I love the Senate and all the Capitol Hill intrigue, I really love campaign politics. It’s something that I definitely made a choice to do, both in writing and in editing to help to drive our politics coverage. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.

Will you be doing a lot more TV? That’s my plan. My plan is for this position to help me in that regard, not hinder me. Everyone here has been really encouraging about wanting what I do media wise to continue and grow.

Are you comfortable on TV? Yes, more or less. I’d never done TV until the summer or fall of ’06. The first time I did it I figured it was pretty much a disaster. I joke around here that I am a media whore, but I enjoy going on TV and giving my analysis. I like the stage. I think it’s fun. I think it’s good for the paper. I hope it’s helpful to the paper, but I really enjoy doing it. I feel our PR has helped me get places I’ve wanted to go.

It’s no secret that it’s looking like CQ and Roll Call are officially merging. How do you feel about that? [Before journalism] I was in a different business. You have to be very vigilant and pay attention to the business side of things. My thumbnail sketch of journalism is maybe it was always this competitive, but I think it’s more competitive now than what it used to be. I used to sell home furnishing products, [which meant] always competing on price and delivery. We had to find creative ways of delivery. To me, this is what I’ve always done. Make sure you love what you do, but make sure you are at a company that is successful so you can make sure you can pay the rent. It’s one of the things I like about Roll Call. Even through the recession we have continued to make a profit.

What do you think about the potential of Roll Call being swallowed up by CQ? I think we still put out  a really good product. In any company there are changes. Most of the changes I’ve experienced are positive. Change isn’t always fun, but I look at it as something that goes along with a business. In some ways I consider myself to be a part of both CQ and Roll Call. In a lot of the ways we are marketed as both. I write for Roll Call according to the masthead. My name appears in Roll Call and I’m still proud of that. My general rule of thumb is as long as the checks still clear and it is well received I will be happy with all.

Tell me about your start in journalism. I got my start at the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, in Ontario, California. Eventually they sent me to Sacramento, where I covered the ’03 recall campaign and Arnold Schwarzenegger. After he was elected governor, the parent paper in our group, the L.A. Daily News, hired me to cover him and state government from their Capitol bureau. I had a great time.

You grew up in California? Grew up in Malibu. You can only do so much in Malibu when you’re not surfer. I fashioned myself a basketball player when I was a kid. I’d do that rather than surfing. It was still fun to live at the beach. I went to UCLA.

So stars were clearly part of the culture. I saw them in the grocery store. You see them dressed in their ratty grungy worst. Dustin Hoffman used to jog at the Junior High School. I went to elementary school with Josh Evans, whose father was Ali MacGraw and Robert Evans. And Jake Busey [son of Gary Busey pictured at right). We actually got in a fight once. Oh nobody won. It was a stupid Jr. High School fight. He kicked, I kicked. There were Roy Orbison’s kids in my junior high. I haven’t thought about this in a long time. you get so used to it.

With the White House Correspondents’ Dinner coming up this weekend, why do you think Hollywood is so focused on Washington? How can I say this? I think Hollywood actors under value what they do. I think they provide a lot of entertainment to people that is actually meaningful. They make a lot of money. I think they don’t value what they do, and I think they think what we do here is valuable. They can tell a story and make people feel happy or sad. It’s actually very unifying. I think they undervalue it, so they look at us and think we’re doing something really important. I think you could tell this to any of them and they might think I’m ridiculously idiotic.

See the memo… Read more

Cassie Chew Joins PBS NewsHour

Here’s something to chew on. PBS NewsHour Political Editor Christina Bellantoni announces the hire of a new reporter-producer for the network’s politics team. She’s Cassie Chew, who comes to PBS from AIS Health. She formerly worked for Bloomberg and BNA to name a few.

Congratulations to Chew!

See the internal memo…

Read more

PBS NewsHour Hires New Reporter-Producer

PBS NewsHour has hired Katelyn Polantz to be a brand new reporter-producer. She starts on April 9. Polantz comes to the program from the Roanoke Times where she was purportedly known for her “scoops.” Among other things, she interned at Bloomberg and completed a fellowship at Poynter.

See the internal memo from Politics Editor Christina Bellantoni

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Yahoo! News’ Bombshell Hire: AFP’s Olivier Knox

Yahoo! News has swooped in and hired Olivier Knox, formerly a congressional correspondent for Agence France-Presse. He is their first White House Correspondent. Knox had been with AFP for more than a decade.

Knox told FishbowlDC: “July would have made it 16 years at AFP,” he wrote in an email. “They hired me right out of SAIS. I’m thrilled, and I guess a little nervous. This is a phenomenal, can’t-turn-it-down opportunity to push myself while working with a team of all-stars. I would be remiss if I didn’t use this opportunity to remember my late mentor, Peter Mackler, to whom I owe all that is good about my reporting (all that’s bad is entirely mine).”

In a early morning release, they explained that Knox has covered “almost every facet of the political story, from presidential campaigns to Congressional drama to the real-world implications of policy decisions at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. As the White House Correspondent, Olivier will bring that broad and deep perspective in his original reporting to the Yahoo! News audience, providing both timely coverage of critical events and a unique perspective on how and why developments in Washington matter for the nation as a whole.”

They cite his keen reporting skills: “Olivier has delivered exclusive takes and scoops and news, including his on-the-scene report of the infamous shoe-throwing incident at former President George W. Bush’s 2008 press conference in Baghdad and the current GOP candidates’ growing calls for ‘covert ops’ directed against Syria. Olivier is also a social media standout, recognized for regularly breaking news on his twitter account.”

The outpouring for Knox on Twitter this morning is what is most striking — if this were a Class President election, or Miss America for that matter, Knox would win hands down — everyone from CNN’s Lizzie O’Leary and former CNNer Campbell Brown to HuffPost‘s Jennifer Bendery, CBS’s John Dickerson, ReutersSam Youngman, ABC’s Jake Tapper, TPM’s Josh Marshall, PBS’s Christina Bellantoni and The Australian‘s Business Editor Geoff Elliott, all sing his praises.

Olivier will report directly to…

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