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Posts Tagged ‘Josh Benson’

NYT Smacks Politico: Jill’s Revenge?

It’s tricky to write a story about a new competitor and not come off as a tad defensive and afraid.

The NYT, which has “obsessively” covered every “twitch and shiver” of Politico‘s existence, has a piece out by Leslie Kaufman that appears to be some sort of preemptive strike against the new Robert Allbritton publication – CapitalNY – that claims to be taking aim at the powerful and complex New York media machine that includes the NYT.

To be sure, the story, which published Sunday, adopts a snide tone against Politico. Kaufman describes Allbritton Communications as “the cash-rich media company that owns Politico, which obsessively covers every twitch and shiver of Washington.”

Every inch of the story oozes with the notion that Allbritton – like the failure spinoff pub TBD – may have bitten off more than he can chew. “Is this Jill’s revenge?” asks a Washington media insider on condition of anonymity and referring to NYT Executive Editor Jill Abramson. “She was clearly outraged at that Politico piece on her controversial management style. What better way to hit back than to order up a condescending piece about their new pet project. What’s weird is the purpose seems so transparent.” That story, published in April, can be found here.

The downside of the piece: the NYT‘s smacks the newly owned operation down before they’ve even had a chance to find their sea legs. The upside: People like an underdog, they may want a scrappy pub like CapitalNY to show up the NYT.

On an amusing note, they spelled Politico Dylan Byers‘ surname like this: “Byars.” The mistake was corrected by 8:45 a.m.

And something else: The writer explains that Byers jumped in to help CapitalNY “post news” but never explains that he and CapitalNY writer Joe Pompeo beat the NYT on the story of Rick Stengel leaving TIME for the State Department. This story, like the one they published last week, fails to credit Politico/CapitalNY for that story, although sources tell us that the NYT astonishingly explained to them why they wouldn’t be crediting them. Byers and Pompeo contacted NYT Media Desk Editor Bruce Headlam on the matter. Bruce replied to Pompeo’s emails and took Byers’ call.

See our catalog of insults after the jump… Read more

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Allbritton Buys Capital NY, VandeHei Named President

Watch out New York. Politico owner Robert Allbritton just took a bite out of the journalism industry there by purchasing Capital New York, an online news site created by  Josh Benson and Tom McGeveran.

Politico‘s Executive Editor Jim VandeHei has been named President of the new venture. He will remain in his role at Politico in Washington and still spend the majority of his time there. Benson and McGeveran will remain as co-editors. Katherine Lehr will be VandeHei’s number 2 and will be moving to Manhattan. In the next month they will hire on two dozen new reporters, with more to follow. Cally Stolbach, central on Politico‘s business team, will split her time between Washington and New York as Capital‘s new Director of Business Development.

Things could turn into a bloodsport. Word on the street is that they’ll be poaching the “best and brightest” from New York publications. Inside sources explain to FishbowlDC that it’s clear they see weakness in the New York Times as they saw in WaPo in 2007. They think they can go into their core areas – city and state politics, media – and beat them at their own game by instituting a new one. “It’s game-on with the Post and Bezos,” said one source. “We all have different approaches and audiences, but the fight for dominance was just taken to a whole new level.”

See Allbritton’s lengthy memo. It was dispatched to staff last night just after midnight. Read more