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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Calderone’

It’s Official: Hounshell to Politico, Where He’ll Be Glasser’s Deputy

It’s a done deal.

Blake Hounshell, who resigned from FP last week, is going to work for Politico as his former boss’s deputy. That’s right, Susan Glasser was his boss at FP. She, too, recently resigned to go to work for Politico to head up an aggressive longform journalism operation.

HuffPost‘s Michael Calderone got his paws on the memo first from Editor-in-Chief John Harris. FishbowlDC first hinted at the news a few days ago. “He’s a wonderful editor, a nonstop ideas machine — and a round-the-clock tweeter: basically the perfect metabolism for POLITICO,” said Glasser in the memo.

Hounshell begins his new job Monday.

See the full memo.

Sh*t Politico’s Jim VandeHei Says

When the ubiquitous Mike Allen was asked two years ago on MSNBC about his sleep patterns, he quoted his boss, Politico Executive Editor Jim VandeHei.

“Jim Vandehei says to be healthy, wealthy, and wise you need six hours a night, so I try for at least that,” Allen said. Sage advice, indeed. But what else does VandeHei say? Luckily, a new Q&A with him published in PaidContent is chock-full of Vande-isms.

For example…

On Politico staying relevant in the media realm:

“Anyone who thinks that because they have success today, they’ll have success tomorrow I think is a fool.”

There’s definitely more…

Read more

Afternoon Reading List 05.29.13

Who is Michele Bachman, anyway? — An “exponent of the anti-tax Tea Party movement”; a “conservative firebrand and a favorite of tea party Republicans”; “Tea Party Darling.” These are just a few of the ways Rep. Michele Bachman (R-Minn.) has been described by the press. In a listicle rivaling Buzzfeed, Politico’s Patrick Gavin listed 13 of the descriptions, citing everyone from Matt Drudge to WaPo and Bloomberg. Gavin himself calls the congresswoman “one of the more colorful characters in Congress.”

Reporter let go for being ‘painful to watch’ — Think you’re having a bad day? In an internal email sent to staff, CBS Harrisburg news director David Baer said Kirk Wilson, a reporter for the station, had resigned. But, as Mediaite’s Andrew Kerill reported, Wilson says he was forced out because Baer said he was “painful to watch.” Originally trying not to share the detail of his split with the station, Wilson, after learning what was being said, took to Facebook to set the record straight. “The news director told me I didn’t meet the reporting standards of SBG TV,” Wilson said in the post. I was “painful to watch,” neither me nor my stories were conversational. I’ll stop there. It got worse.” He went on to describe his stop at a convenience store on his way home the day he was let go. The clerk recognized him as a reporter from the station, and after Wilson told her that he wasn’t with the station anymore, she was heartbroken. “She said to me, ‘You’re my favorite reporter. I think I’m going to cry.”

Molly Ball, Maggie Haberman considered for NYT posts — Last week, NYT announced the hire of Politico’s Jonathan Martin as a national political correspondent for the newspaper. HuffPost’s Michael Calderone reported that, along with Martin, the Times was also considering The Atlantic’s Molly Ball for the storied position, according to sources. Ball is a former reporter at Politico. Haberman, for her part, reportedly extended her contract with Politico following the 2012 election and will be staying with the publication.

 

Incest Desk: Is Howard Kurtz Getting Too Cozy With Daily Download?

HuffPost media writer Michael Calderone investigated the writing habits of  Howard Kurtz and something curious has emerged. Some of Kurtz’ Daily Beast colleagues are baffled about why he’s spending so much time promoting another Daily site. This one, the Daily Download, where Kurtz sits on the board, instead of his other employers, Newsweek-The Daily Beast and CNN. Lauren Asburn is Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Download. She’s also a Daily Beast contributor and appears often on Kurtz’ CNN program. Are things getting just a tad incestuous?

In a story published Wednesday afternoon… Read more

Nancy Pelosi Helps TNR Celebrate New Digs

Three weeks after moving into 529 9th St. in Chinatown, The New Republic officially celebrated its new office space on Friday.

“The convenience of the location played a big part,” Chief Operating Officer Sloan Eddleston told FishbowlDC. The office, which sits over the International Spy Museum, features a newsroom with some 30 computers, a library for reporters seeking a quiet respite and a spacious roof deck with a view of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery (another selling point).

Eddleston said the space was renovated before the TNR crew could move in and that changes to the office were paid for by the owners of the building. He said TNR has signed a multi-year lease, but declined to say how many years.

Notably, most of the computers in the office are desktop PCs with only two or three Macs. Asked if any of the staffers gripe over who uses which computer, TNR Editor-in-Chief Franklin Foer said no. Actually, most of the computers go unused. “I think you find that most people have laptops,” Foer said, “and they’re working off Macs.”

Foer said it’s “very sweet to be in a place that is our home and will be our home for a long time.” Previously, TNR was taking up shelter in an office sublet by the American Grain Council.

The party featured two fully-stocked open bars and another bar where attendees could sample different liquors. WaPo‘s media reporter Erik Wemple was spotted taking a shot of something dark before heading out onto the deck. Catering included copious amounts of humus and cheese, veggie spreads and an assortment of chips.

Throughout the early evening, Chris Hughes, publisher of TNR, was seen… Read more

CNN’s Tapper: Palatable to Left and Right

CNN’s Jake Tapper has long been viewed among the few TV journalists in Washington not on Fox News who routinely gets praise from the right-wing media. In a HuffPost story Wednesday, media writer Michael Calderone gets a quote from Tapper that is sure to please what he hopes will be his left and right-wing audience on his new program, “The Lead” which debuts Monday at 4 p.m.

An excerpt:

“Whether it’s drones or Benghazi, I want to be an outlet that covers a lot of those stories. Whether it’s what effect Obamacare will have on businesses or the treatment of Bradley Manning. These are stories I will cover and they’re ones that maybe more liberals have an interest in one and maybe more conservatives have an interest in another, but I think that they’re important and I hope that at this point, I have become an honest enough broker that viewers will tune in because they know that I will be able to get guests and ask tough questions regardless of the party affiliation of those I’m asking. I hope. That’s the hope.”

Read the full story here.

Ex-Politico Employee: ‘The Nightmare is Over’

A former Politico reporter related all too well to Karin Tanabe‘s newly published work of fiction, The List, in which she offers a veiled glimpse of her former workplace and coworkers. Although the book’s description is fairly tame, doesn’t name names or come close to kicking the high octane news outlet in the teeth quite like the recent stories from ex-Politico Michael Calderone, now at HuffPost, at least one former employee publicly resonated with her account.

The quote below comes from Stephanie Christensen, a media coordinator, who left Politico in July of 2011. See the lovely Playbook farewell from Mike Allen after the jump.

Read more

Cory Booker Appears Babyish With Press

Newark Mayor and and possible Senate hopeful Cory Booker may be popular on Twitter, but he may be a bit of a baby with the media.

In a story over the weekend, Politico‘s Maggie Haberman writes,

“Booker initially agreed to be interviewed by POLITICO, rescheduled twice, then canceled 20 minutes after a reporter asked for comment on criticisms he had received from a prominent New Jersey Democrat about how he’s handled his campaign rollout.”

Booker did appear on HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher” Friday night and was presumably supposed to provide a contrast to USA Today‘s Jackie Kucinich and actress Eva Longoria, who wore her hair in a bouncy high ponytail. The show isn’t the easiest, but then again Booker kept his ramblings vanilla and did nothing to make himself stand out in any way.

Haberman, meanwhile… Read more

Ex-Politico Scribe Dishes In ‘The List’

If there were any doubt as to whether the stuff reported about the culture in Politico‘s newsroom were true, look no further than Karin Tanabe‘s to-be-released novel, The List.

The plot centers on a 20-something reporter who leaves a “cushy” New York magazine job for D.C.’s “hottest (and most cut-throat) political rag.” It’s well known that the fictional “political rag” is inspired by Politico, where Tanabe used to work as a “Click” gossip reporter.

FishbowlDC received an advance copy of The List, which publishes next month. Even in the first two chapters, we found relatively unflattering stories about Politico‘s newsroom. Nothing we haven’t read before, but negative, nonetheless.

Take the protagonist, Adrienne Brown, who on her first day as a style reporter at the Capitolist (a.k.a. Politico fictionalized) is treated to “awkward cake.” Last summer HuffPost‘s Michael Calderone reported about this real-life thing inside Politico, indeed referred to by staffers as “awkward cake.” In other words, the dessert presented to the newsroom to bid farewell to a staffer. (By the way, this happens in a number newsrooms around town, on birthdays as well as farewell gatherings. It’s always awkward cake.)

Another character in the book, David Bush, is clearly Mike Allen. He’s described as “a man with a safari hat stuck to his sweaty head” and “round tortoiseshell glasses.” He only removes the hat for TV appearances, which sounds more like White House scribe Glenn Thrush, until Bush is further described as “quirky” and “a genius.” His job: To write the Morning List (“It’s like the Bible, but with bullet points.”) Of course, the NYT profile of Politico in 2010 referred to Allen as “the man the White House wakes up to” and described him as “obsessively private” and “a legendary hoarder and pack rat.”

On and on it goes, making Politico sound like a wretched place to work. But there are stark differences between Tanabe, the real woman who worked for Politico, and her book’s main character, Adrienne Brown. Tanabe, who is brunette, not blonde as shown above, never previously worked for a New York magazine; rather, she was managing editor for Washington Life. She also wrote an edgy blog called NakedThanks.com, in which she sarcastically thanked people or places, such as the back seat of her boyfriend’s car.

The graph that best sums up Politico, the fake publication… Read more

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

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