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Posts Tagged ‘Laurie Battaglia’

Roll Call Goes Crunchy


In a move that seems more suited for a West Coast city, the CQ-Roll Call Group announces today that Roll Call is the first publication to be “going green,” meaning that it will be printed on 100 percent recycled paper.

The change promises a variety of things:

1. Reduce the environmental impact
2. Improve overall quality for advertisers and readers: the new paper is said to be white, 30 percent brighter. All photographs, graphics will purportedly be “sharper, more attractive.”
3. Reduce the company’s overall carbon footprint

The new recycled newspaper will being in early March and will be made of “100 percent recycled fiber.”

So does this mean all reporters will now be forced to wear Birkenstocks and clothing made of hemp? (Somehow we can’t really imagine that.) Stay tuned.

Read the release after the jump…

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CQ-Roll Call Completes Integration Initiatives

This morning, CQ-Roll Call Managing Director Laurie Battaglia emailed staff to announce the completion of four projects designed to further integrate CQ & Roll Call.

Yesterday, we told you about the relaunch of but Battaglia’s memo highlighted a few of the additional initiatives:

CQ StateTrack’s regulatory monitoring service: a new service to enable subscribers to keep current on proposed and adopted state regulations using the same interactive map-based display, search engine and alerting functionality from CQ StateTrackÂ’s legislative service.

CQ Energy & Climate: a new service on that incorporates elements of the Environment & Energy Briefing Room with related content from nearly 20 services.

Content migration: they migrated many of the features and content from the Briefing Rooms and CongressNow onto the platform. Battaglia says, “as a result, and our specialty products, including Budget Tracker, HealthBeat and Homeland Security, have been enhanced and are better than ever.”

Read the full memo after the jump.

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Help Wanted: Nutting’s Job Jinxed?

A tipster sent us this CQ “help wanted” description for the position held by Brian Nutting who was terminated by CQ-Roll Call‘s Mike Mills and Laurie Battaglia. Nutting, a 27-year CQ vet got the axe after sending an email to the entire newsroom demanding “answers” after the Economist-owned organization slashed 44 editorial positions late last month.

LEGISLATIVE ACTION EDITOR: CQ’s newsroom is seeking a full-time editor for its Legislative Action team to edit news stories and descriptions of votes for and CQ print publications, as well as longer analytical pieces for House Action Reports and BillAnalysis. The job also requires helping to train reporters on CQ’s methods and quality standards, as well as how to write for different CQ-Roll Call Group publications. In addition to demonstrated experience in news editing and writing, candidates should have familiarity with Congress and legislative procedure. Frequent evening work required. Contact Peter King.

According to Michael Calderone, silly Mills offered Nutting’s gig to Jodi Schneider, who he had canned just five days earlier. Schneider passed on the masochistic opportunity.

Who will take this jinxed job? In this economy and industry, we’re surprised it’s still unfilled. But then again, the cast of Alive didn’t eat their teammates on the day their plane crashed.

CQers Fete Brian Nutting

The man at the heart of the Economist Group’s PR nightmare and former senior editor of CQ that was wrongfully-fired by CQ-Roll Call News Director Mike Mills and Managing Director Laurie Battaglia will be feted tonight by his colleagues. The honoree, Brian Nutting was canned after questioning the layoffs of 44 editorial staffers last week.

The party will be held at the home of another high-profile journalist discarded by CQ. A large turnout of CQ staffers looking to express their appreciation for the hero-editor is expected.

Unfortunately, Nutting won’t be last of the layoffs. Sources tell FishbowlDC that the business side of the combined entity will take a hefty hit in the near future.

News Notes: Nutting Fired but CQ-Roll Call Burned

Perhaps the biggest misstep (and PR nightmare) of the Economist‘s acquisition of CQ has been the firing of veteran newsman and CQ editor Brian Nutting after he questioned the layoffs of 44 staffers via email to the CQ-Roll Call newsroom.

Tips, endorsements and notes of raw emotion and respect for the beloved editor poured into FishbowlDC and made their way around the Washington media circuit throughout the day. One thing is for sure – employed or not, Nutting knows how to make a headline:

Nutting told Politico’s Michael Calderone, “I didn’t feel like I could turn my back on the people I worked with.”

When WaPo‘s Paul Farhi caught up with Nutting, he said that Mike Mills claimed the email [posted by FishbowlDC] had “embarrassed the company” and that “he was insubordinate.”

In addition, The Atlantic‘s Jeffrey Goldberg posted “A Journalist with Guts” and DCRTV posted “CQ Cans Hero-Editor.”

Nutting’s name also hit Twitter and tweets about his firing exploded into a #cqfail “protwest” of sorts, suggesting that everyone unfollow @cqpolitics. The protwest even took on catchy slogans like “Every time CQ is unfollowed Brian Nutting gets his wings.”

While participating in #CQfail protwest@anamariecox said:

ALL HAIL BRIAN NUTTING, hero of #CQfail! “We now know the real reason was money.”

Not a good day for Economist PR at all…

I can’t help wondering what Mike Mills and Laurie Battaglia thought they were accomplishing by dismissing the one guy that seemed to be “out for” the already-shaken CQ staff. Are their executive egos that easily bruised? Were they making an example? A point? If so, what was it? That the Economist rule is dictatorial?

CQ-Roll Call FAIL: Brian Nutting Fired?

Last week, in the midst of the CQ-Roll Call layoffs, FishbowlDC posted a “We need answers” email response from CQ editor Brian Nutting. The email demanded answers and clarification from upper management regarding the layoffs and falsities surrounding the Economist‘s acquisition of CQ.

Many outraged sources now tell FishbowlDC that the hero-editor has been let go over his stance and determination to defend his employees’ jobs.

One source tells FishbowlDC:

He is a 27-year veteran of CQ. He fostered many careers at CQ and many are crying this morning in the newsroom. He was fired for “not showing remorse” after sending the email. Before the layoffs he offered to be laidoff himself if it would save his two reporters who were cut. Management said no because they couldn’t afford this severance.

Sounds like management ought to start ordering Prozac in bulk because morale is in the dumpster…

Stay tuned for more details.

***UPDATE*** 11:23 am

A very reliable source sent me this note on Nutting’s firing:

The Gestapo at CQ just fired Brian Nutting…..Because he refused to apologize to Laurie Battaglia. He apparently said “hell no, why would I apologize? I meant it.”

27 years there. And this way, they get out of paying him severance.

***UPDATE*** 11:32 am

Editorial Director Mike Mills sent this memo to staff:

I regret to announce that Brian Nutting is leaving CQ-Roll Call Group, effective today. For 27 years, Brian has been a standard-bearer for editorial quality at CQ, including, in recent years, coaching and mentoring reporters on the techniques of legislative reporting and writing. We thank him for his dedication and his service. Mike

Getting UGLY at CQ-Roll Call

People are “pissed” at CQ-Roll Call. One source just sent us this note from Brian Nutting directed at Mike Mills, Laurie Battaglia and John Dineen. Nutting copied the entire newsroom.

From: Brian Nutting
Sent: Thursday, September 24, 2009 11:29 AM

To: Mike Mills; ‘Laurie Battaglia’; John Dineen

Cc: News Room

Subject: We need answers

The newsroom needs to hear in person from those who are responsible for today’s announcement. Someone in authority should appear before us to attempt to justify the actions announced.

In July, when the sale of CQ was announced, we were told that both Roll Call and CQ are profitable.

We were told that the Economist and CQ had many shared values.
We were told that “there is a higher purpose to what we do.”
We were told that the people in the company were highly valued.

And now this.

What possible justification can there be for throwing people out of their jobs simply to make MORE money?

I would like to know who has been laid off. What is the CQ/Roll Call breakdown on jobs that will be lost?

Why are people being laid off? Was a reduction in staff size through attrition considered?

Damn straight, Brian!!! We were told the same.

Bloodbath at CQ-Roll Call: 44 Editorial Jobs Cut


First on FishbowlDC: Management is meeting with staffers in waves at CQ-Roll Call. One group at CQ just took a 25 person hit. We hear it’s pretty ugly and as one staffer suggested, “is like a scene from a corporate Schindler’s List.”
A total of forty-four editorial positions are being cut in all. The internal email from Laurie Battaglia obtained by FishbowlDC below:

Dear Colleagues,

It has been nearly two months since our companies have joined forces, and there have been numerous structural changes during that period of time. As trying as this period has been, I continue to be amazed by the dedication you all have shown, not allowing the disruptions of reorganization keep you from your dedication to producing the most outstanding products covering Congress. I thank you for this, and appreciate the patience you have shown during this transition.

Earlier this month we distributed a document mapping our plans for the upcoming month. While this has undoubtedly created some anxious moments, our goal was to be as forthcoming as possible, and we will continue to do that as we march forward.

As September now draws to a close, we have completed our assessments of the editorial operations at CQ-Roll Call Group, and the attached document from Mike Mills lays out the structure of the new editorial team.

While this reorganization has many positive elements, there is also an unfortunate consequence of this assessment, and that is the elimination of 44 editorial positions, spread across all newsrooms. These decisions, along with our earlier commercial changes, have been extremely difficult to make, and are now made only after a nearly two-month painstaking effort to review our editorial teams and determine our needs going forward. But we are happy to now say that our restructure is complete, and no further personnel reductions of this nature are forthcoming.

I know that the past two months have been difficult, especially so for our colleagues at CQ that endured many more months of uncertainty. And while it is not easy to part ways with former colleagues, our future is bright, and I look forward to working with every one of you as we move our fantastic business into the future.

If you have any further questions, my door is always open, so please don’t hesitate to ask.

Laurie Battaglia
EVP and Managing Director
CQ-Roll Call Group

CQ-Roll Call Hangins on the Horizon


Insiders tell FishbowlDC that the CQ-Roll Call hangmen are readying their nooses in preparation for the dismissal of “overlapping positions.” The trapdoors could be clattering next week, maybe as early as Monday…

From Managing Director and Executive Vice President Laurie Battaglia‘s email to staff:

Editorial. We continue to assess the combined news and research resources of CQ, Roll Call, Gallery Watch and Capital Advantage, with a goal of identifying personnel overlaps and ways to streamline our operations, while maintaining our commitment to publish at the quality level our clients expect. Editorial Director Mike Mills and his top deputies are leading this effort. We anticipate completing this review and announcing a number of structural and personnel changes in Editorial by the end of September.

We appreciate that change is difficult, and personnel reductions are an unfortunate part of any reorganization. If you would like to voice any concerns, or share your ideas, please feel free to speak with the HR manager in charge of your department, or any of the senior team, including me.

CQ-Roll Call Deal Signed, Management Changes Announced

First on FishbowlDC: The ink is still drying on the Roll Call/Congressional Quarterly deal and new management changes are already being announced — one of which involves Peter Cherukuri‘s position as publisher.

Cherukuri, the boy-wonder publisher of Roll Call will be stepping aside because his position “is redundant.” Cherukuri will aid in the transition for the next 30 days.

From Laurie Battaglia‘s memo (obtained by FishbowlDC) this morning:

The changes

Editorial Mike Mills joined Roll Call as editorial director in February of this year. Mike spent more than 11 years at CQ and will now serve as senior vice president and editorial director for CQ-Roll Call Group, overseeing all products and publications. Under Mike, Susan Benkelman (CQ executive editor) becomes executive editor of news for CQ and John Dineen (managing editor, becomes executive editor of publications for CQ. Both Susan and John are veterans of CQ. Charlie Mitchell will continue in his role as editor of Roll Call.

Information Services Keith White, formerly CQ publisher and senior vice president, will head up Information Services as senior vice president and associate director of CQ-Roll Call Group. Keith has been with CQ since 2001 after serving in executive positions at LexisNexis and AOL. Because Information Services include all subscription-based products, Barkley Kern (senior vice president, Capitol Advantage) will report to Keith. Additionally, Jim Gale (vice president of circulation sales, CQ), Greg Hamilton (chief marketing officer, CQ) and Ron Hogan (general manager, State Track) will continue to report to Keith.

Advertising Victoria Lion Monroe, formerly CQ associate publisher and vice president of advertising, will lead the Group’s advertising team as senior vice president. Victoria has been with CQ since July 2008 and brings more than 20 years of advertising experience, including extensive agency experience. Karen Whitman (vice president of advertising) and Cliff McKinney (director of advertising) will now report to Victoria.

Technology Dennis Arndt, who joined Roll Call Group as chief technology officer this past April, will serve as senior vice president and chief technology officer across the CQ-Roll Call Group. Dennis has more than 20 years of technology experience including senior-level positions with JumpTap, Monster Worldwide and Omgeo. Larry Tunks (chief information officer, CQ) will report to Dennis.

Finance Chip Wallen, Roll Call Group’s director of finance since February 2008, will become senior vice president and chief financial officer, responsible for overseeing all finance functions across the businesses. Chip brings a wealth of experience after serving in senior capacities at CQ and more recently, Legal Times.

Strategy and Development Neil Maslansky, formerly CQ chief financial officer, becomes senior vice president for strategy and development. Neil has been with CQ for seven years. Before that, he held management positions with LexisNexis and Congressional Information Service. Neil’s department will play a vital part in our success by continuing to innovate to ensure we stay ahead of the market.

Client Relationships Arnie Thomas, Roll Call Group senior vice president of client relationships will continue in his role across the new CQ-Roll Call Group. Arnie brings vast experience in our market, having held senior positions at LegiSlate. He was also instrumental in the launch of GalleryWatch Federal, which was acquired by Roll Call Group in 2006.

Battaglia’s full memo after the jump.

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