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Posts Tagged ‘Danielle Jones’

Women on the Rise at Politico?

Are women on the rise at Politico? If you recall, in a recent interview with TNR, Executive Editor Jim VandeHei and Isaac Chotiner got in a verbal dust-up on the matter when Chotiner uttered the phrase “overt sexism” and suggested that Politico has a female problem. “I think women would find the premise deeply condescending,” VandeHei shot back at him, saying no one who presently works at Politico would make the charge. And the facts are what they are. Even if you argue this may just be for appearance sake, there are a lot of females in high-ranking roles.

In recent months Politico has been a steady procession of men out of leadership posts. With what looks to be a substantial overhaul of Politico management, the winners are all women. Tim Grieve, who had repeatedly been accused of treating women unfairly, is out and now at National Journal, where his new colleagues say he couldn’t be nicer; Craig Gordon, the highest ranking male outside of VandeHarris is gone as of today — he’s off to Bloomberg News, where he’ll be Deputy Managing Editor. Females in high-ranking roles at Politico include Susan Glasser, who they’ve hired to run a longform magazine project and one their newest hires, Denise Kerston Wells, who they snagged from Washingtonian, to be a senior editor for the longform project. Danielle Jones, meanwhile, is the highest ranking woman in editorial who beat out Gordon and Grieve for job, Kim Kingsley is the COO and Rachel Smolkin, who will take over for Gordon.

We asked Politico Editor-in-Chief John Harris if this has been a concerted effort combat the rap and put women in top roles and will report back if he replies.

See the extremely complimentary memo from Politico on Gordon as well as Bloomberg‘s announcement… Read more

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Layoffs at Politico? HuffPost, Please.

When HuffPost‘s Michael Calderone left in Politico in March of 2010, no love was lost on either end. The whys of that are hard to decipher — he broke news and worked at a feverish pace as most reporters there do — but the fit was never a good one. Which may help explain his rollout of anti-Politico stories in recent months, the latest of which has Politico laying people off, even though the decisions appear to be nothing of the kind. In June of last year, Calderone wrote a lengthy insiders piece on his former employer. In it, he reported on the “stressful, hamster wheel” environment in which a “handful of reporters receive preferential treatment from company leadership, while the majority are left drifting in a far off galaxy.”

In his most recent story on Politico, Calderone reported that two people have been let go in recent days — Photo Editor Jay Westcott, who opted to go public with the news on Facebook and Twitter and Jess Kamen, a technology reporter. These things are usually quiet matters. But there’s nothing quiet about Westcott, who also went public last September about his split from his fiancé, Madeline Marshall, also a Politico employee, and told his Facebook pals about his heartbreak. After she changed her status to “single”, Westcott snapped, “I took that picture. Take it down.” Eventually he seemed to come to his senses when he wrote, “I am devastated. I have to get off Facebook.”

So two people were shown the door. As Politico’s Editor-in-Chief John Harris eventually told Calderone for his story, Publisher Robert Allbritton has given them the green light to expand and bring on 30 new hires in 2013 — does this sound like a season of layoffs? To be sure, the word “layoff” is a loaded one and HuffPost, a Politico competitor, was sure to use it in their headline. The word, like it or not, denotes a company that’s struggling. On Sunday, WaPo media writer Erik Wemple also questioned Calderone’s use of the word. “Here’s one instance in which terminology matters a great deal,’ he wrote. “‘Layoffs,’ after all, sends a signal that the organization is shrinking, unable to meet its budgets with current staffing levels. If that’s the case here, it’s a giant story…” If not, he added, it’s a “far less consequential story.”

But Politico, struggling? WaPo recently made big offers to Alexander Burns and Maggie Haberman. Both rejected them to stay.

In Wemple’s story we learn that Politicos such as Harris, Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen, Haberman, Danielle Jones and Kim Kingsley have all signed multi-year contracts, crushing any impression that an exodus is underway. “He got played by bad sources because a few junior people left,” a media observer explained. “Politico has people come and go every week, so some variation of his dumb and naïve story could run most months.”

Asked to comment on whether he holds any ill will against his former employer and whether “layoffs” was a proper word to use, Calderone remarked to FishbowlDC… Read more

Politico Announces Changes in Gargantuan Memo

Politico‘s Editor-in-Chief John Harris sent a vast memo to staff this afternoon saluting them on their successes and detailing changes to come.

The takeaways: Politico Pro Managing Editor Tim Grieve (the one with a bit of a hilarious temper issue) will now be dealing mainly with platforms not people. (If you hear screams of Halleluja coming from Rosslyn this afternoon, this is why). Like Grieve, Craig Gordon also has the title of Politico Managing Editor. Looks like he’ll be manning the daily operation because he will be “managing content” (i.e. TALKING with people, so hopefully he’s a human being.). Both men will report to Danielle Jones who has been promoted to Deputy Editor-in-Chief. We love this line: “As is obvious from these descriptions, Craig and Tim will work together hand-in-glove, since there is no platform without great content, and no content without a great platform.” (Craig, we hope your self-esteem is intact.) The other big whopper is that beloved Bill Nichols will move into an “editor-at-large” role in which he will serve as the publication’s ombudsman. VandeHarris, for their part, will continue to do what they do — they will fearlesly lead the team and write whenever possible. But read between the lines: “John will continue to dedicate most of his time to directing editorial coverage; Jim will continue to dedicate most of his time to the broader strategic direction of the company; and both of us will continue to write as often as we can.” We’re hearing strong murmurings that the pair is beginning the process of moving off strict day-to-day editorial management.

See the full memo. It’s a long one. Get some popcorn… Read more

Basketball Coach Hubby Gets Extension

American University men’s basketball coach Jeff Jones, husband to Politico Online Managing Editor Danielle Jones, has signed a contract through 2016, reports the AP. He already had a contract through the 2013-2014 season. The extended contract was announced Wednesday night.

As long as Vandeharris lets her out, chances are high that Danielle will be at the first home game on Nov. 16 against Florida Atlantic. She told FishbowlDC: “It is great news!. We both love AU. Go Eagles!”

Politico Reporters/Editors: The Chosen Ones

We’ve learned specifics on which Politico reporters received the exclusive invite to the boss’s house on Sunday. As many know by now, Politico‘s Robert Allbritton and wife, Elena, held a post WHCD brunch at their Georgetown home, but only a small select group of journalists of the approximately 200 they employ were invited.

The List: Editor-in-Chief John Harris and Executive Editor Jim Vandehei, Bill Nichols, Danielle Jones, Kim Kingsley, Sara Olson, Bill Hamilton, Julie Mason, Jonathan Martin, Craig Gordon, Katherine Lehrer, Manu Raju, Tim Grieve and Mike Allen. Photographer John Shinkle and reporter Amie Parnes were there to cover the event. It’s unclear but doubtful that they would have been invited otherwise.

To the masses who didn’t get to eat fried mushroom puffs and caviar this weekend, don’t worry. They’re sure to send out a praiseworthy internal memo soon or offer catered lunch in the conference room.

UPDATE: We missed Politico’s chief political columnist Roger Simon, who also got to enjoy those mouthwatering mushroom puffs at the brunch. He attended with his wife, Marcia Kramer. “The food, which was catered by Wolfgang Puck, was terrific,” Simon remarked to FishbowlDC.

Fishbowl5 With Politico Mouse

Today we try an unconventional interview with Politico Mouse, the rodent who opened a Twitter account from Politico‘s newsroom and writes about his daily escapades foraging for food in Allbritton’s mice-infested offices in Arlington, Va. He has been under Mike Allen‘s desk and says it’s fruitful. He’s a go-getter. He puts in time in meetings searching for morsels. A few things he has told us: He is a male reporter who works for Politico. His colleagues can’t figure out who he is (and some don’t care to).

In short, we take this with a comical grain of salt and so should you.

Arranging the interview wasn’t easy as Politico Mouse has excuses: “Sorry it takes me so long to respond; Mike Allen finally moved his office and some crumbs that I hid in there got lost.” And this one: “Fair warning: there’s a catered meeting going on right now and I plan to be busy afterward.”

Let’s get started…

Read more

Politico’s First Ever Deputy Web Editor Out on Town to Celebrate

Heitz with boyfriend Jon Rubin

Politico‘s Dianna Heitz was spotted celebrating her promotion with colleagues last night. The party transpired at Politico‘s “official” bar, Continental Bar & Billiards in Arlington.

On Monday afternoon, an email with the subject line “Diann-a-might,” went out from Danielle Jones to webteam: “Guess what: Dianna Heitz today became POLITICO’s first Deputy Web Editor. She has been great at everything she has done here so far – from web producing to writing and editing – and we’re delighted that she will even more frequently have her hand on the site’s steering wheel, a job at which she’s already excelling. Please join me in congratulating Dianna for soaring to new Heitz (sorry, I had to do it – it’s tradition.)”


BREAKING Mice Run Wild at Allbritton’s Politico

There are mice in Politico‘s house. Not ordinary mice, either. Big fat ones. And newsroom reporters are getting vocal about it in the real world and on Twitter.

Said one scribe on condition of anonymity: “The mice situation in the newsroom is DISGUSTING. We see them now during the day: fat, happy mice sauntering around the newsroom. If you get someone to call the exterminator I’ll be thrilled.” Deputy Politics Editor Sara Libby: @lkmcgann [Laura McGann] claims that the mice @politico are now so brazen, they’re “walking around with hoodies.” She’s fled to our secret Hill office.  Ben Smith‘s Researcher Byron Tau: RT Congress.org’s @RyanBeckwith: “Mouse wins the morning.” CLICK’s Karin Tanabe:  “@SaraLibby tell it like it is. One zipped right under the desk of @amieparnes yesterday. #justsaynotorodents.” The newly hired Deputy Congressional Editor McGann: “A mouse in the @politico newsroom asked me what I’m looking at. Enroute to super secret Hill bureau.”

What’s Politico management doing about the mice problem? We’ll find out…surely HariHei has something to say.

UPDATE: Editor-in-Chief John Harris tells FishbowlDC: “POLITICO’s newsroom shares a big floor with our ACC cousins—WJLA, channel 8, and TBD. ACC is in charge of administering the physical space. They would be in charge of any exterminator contract. It’s a big physical space between four different news operations–a couple football fields large–and I did hear there may be a mouse running around. I am eager for his/her timely demise.”

UPDATE #2:  An anonymous tipster writes…”On the mouse situation at POLITICO, where I work, it’s been a fairly long-running problem. Danielle Jones actually has several little memorials to mice who have been caught around the office. It sounds morbid, but it’s really not.”

Politico Behind the Scenes

boardroom.jpg Howard Kurtz got a rare behind-the-scenes look at how Politico operates for Sunday’s “Reliable Sources” on CNN. Cameras were allowed into the conference room as Politico planned its health care coverage.

Those at the filmed meeting included: John Harris; Jim VandeHei wanted everything tightly focused on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.): “If we can really rope it around her and around the final 72 hours…” he said, noting that WaPo would be thinking much more broadly on coverage; Craig Gordon, the editor in charge of White House coverage, weighed in; Jonathan Martin suggested a story on “Dead Men Walking,” those lawmakers who would effectively be signing death papers by voting for the bill; Eamon Javers appeared to be amused by others remarks, but never spoke during the segment.

Something viewers may not know: Participants in the brainstorming meeting change from meeting to meeting. The meeting happens every few weeks and is a mix of top editors and selected reporters.

Something else viewers may not know: CNN chose not to show the other side of the table or any of the comments that came from that side of the room. Those journos included: Danielle Jones, Managing Editor, Online; Erika Compart, Deputy Managing Editor; Pia Catton, Features Editor; and Carol Lee, White House Correspondent.

“Some of those stories were very solid,” assessed Kurtz after the meeting. “But they also offered an embarrassment” this week. Kurtz explained that Politico posted a leaked memo on health care and didn’t say it came from Republican sources. They took it down. He scolded, “A better rule of thumb would have been to verify it first before publishing.”

An armchair suggestion: Story meeting participants may want to get all itches and scratches out before they go on film. While some slouched (perfectly fitting for such a meeting) some scratched too much as cameras rolled up close.

Next week: More Politico as Kurtz interviews VandeHarris.

Come to your own conclusions. Watch CNN’s video here. Please note, the picture (above) is a depiction and not the actual room where the Politico meeting transpired.

Vaughn Ververs Join(s/ed) Politico…

Memo announcing the Politico’s hire of former CBS-er Vaughn Ververs:

———- Forwarded message ———-
CONVERT BREAKS: __default__

Memo announcing the Politico’s hire of former CBS-er Vaughn Ververs:

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Bill Nichols
Subject: Welcome to an almost newcomer

In the grand POLITICO tradition, we have waited so long to
introduce a new staff member that they have already become such an
accepted part of the joint that they no longer seem new.

But anyway – please formally welcome Vaughn Ververs, who comes to us most recently from CBSNews.com, where he was Senior Political Editor. Before joining CBS News as editor of the Public Eye blog, Vaughn was editor of The Hotline, where, among other accomplishments,
he survived working with one Danielle Jones.

In his POLITICO incarnation, Vaughn will be our night Web editor on Mondays and Tuesdays and will generally work with DJ throughout the week in making the web site even cooler and smarter and faster than it already is – if that is possible. Vaughn has already made progress toward one of POLITICO’s chief goals for 2009: getting DJ to walk to lunch across Wilson Blvd without staring at her Blackberry non-stop. Pedestrians throughout the area are deeply
grateful.

Please welcome Vaughn, if belatedly, to the POLITICO gang.

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