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Posts Tagged ‘Scott Montgomery’

The FishbowlDC Interview With Advice Columnist Rebecca Gale

 

Say hello to CQ Roll Call‘s on call advice blogger Rebecca Gale. She writes the “Hill Navigator” advice column for those who want to better understand the ins and outs of Capitol Hill. As a former press secretary to the likes of Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WVa.), Chris Carney (D-Pa.), Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) and several years now at CQ Roll Call, she’s intimately acquainted with her subject matter. The highly educated Gale went to undergrad at Miami of Ohio University and Johns Hopkins for grad school.  Royal baby news aside, one other piece of news about Gale: She’s expecting her first child, a boy, in mid-August. Already some nine months into her pregnancy, she will soon depart for maternity leave. Very soon, in fact. So let’s get this interview started.

If you were a carbonated beverage, which would you be? Perrier. In a glass bottle, not plastic.

How often do you Google yourself? Lately not often. I’m more likely to google “Hill Navigator”

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor/boss (or vice versa)? I once told a book editor that something was “your problem, not mine” and he calmly responded by saying it was my name on the cover, so I’d better fix it.

You have an intriguing name. What is the story behind it? My parents like biblical names. And Gale is easy to spell. Not sure if that qualifies as intriguing, but it works for me. Coming up with a good name is much harder than it seems.

Who is your favorite working journalist and why? There are some fantastic Roll Call alums out there–NPR’s Scott Montgomery and USA Today’s Paul Singer are two of my favorites.

Do you have a favorite word? Unlikely.

Who would you rather have dinner with – CNN’s Kate Bolduan, CNN’s Chris Cuomo or CNN’s Michaela Perera? Tell us why. Whomever has better restaurant taste–I don’t follow CNN closely enough to discern who’d be the better conversationalist.

We understand you’re expecting a baby. With your husband. But the Earth’s human population is dying out and you must save it by having another child after this one’s delivered. You will spend a romantic evening with “Morning Joe” regular Harold Ford Jr., Anthony Weiner or Eliot Spitzer. Who will it be and why? (None is not an option.) Weiner. All he’d want to do is look at pictures.

What swear word do you use most often? Damn.

You’ve just been told the big news: You get to have your own Sunday morning talk show. Who will be on your roundtable? (Pick four journalists or pundits types.) I’d include someone who can speak to the “real” issues in Washington, D.C.–the city–not just the political entity. Washington Post “Lunchline” author Clinton Yates comes to mind, as does Roll Call “After Dark” editor Jason Dick. Also Armando Trull from WAMU who is always reporting live from esoteric beltway locations. I’d make sure to include a Member of Congress who is not in the usual roundup of talk show suspects–they’d be more likely to say something interesting. The ones laden with talking points and platitudes say the same things over again. And one of my first guests would be my former boss, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.

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Author Wants Sen. Rockefeller To Read Her Book

CQ Roll Call‘s Rebecca Gale celebrated the official launch of her new novel Trying at The Science Club last night. Though the venue was a bit cozy and broiling (i.e. perfect for a hot yoga class), plenty of Gale’s newsroom colleagues and friends showed up to offer support.

Asked if there was one journalist Gale would want to read her book, she named co-worker Neda Semnani. “She gives great book reviews,” Gale said, adding that Semnani, who co-writes the Heard on the Hill gossip column, would offer an “honest assessment” of the book.

Gale also named her former boss Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va) as someone who should read it. “He would love it,” she said. (That’s somewhat intriguing, considering the book is a love story involving government secrets. Hmm…)

There were plenty of finger foods and bevys at the soiree, much of which was unidentifiable at first glance. But the best part was the tiny cupcakes, decorated with little edible versions of Gale’s book.

The cupcakes, we’re told, were enjoyed by CQ Roll Call Publisher Peter Anthony‘s two young boys, who were told upon entering by Anthony to “stand right here” against a wall… Read more

CQRC Names Benkelman Editorial Director

Back in September, amid the turmoil of CQRC’s transition pains, layoffs, resignations and more, Susan Benkelman took the helm as interim Editorial Director. She had stepped in for Mike Mills, who resigned after pissing off much of the newsroom for a job as Chief Content Officer at Society for Science and the Public. Well, now it’s official. CQRC has given Benkelman the post. She will hire both the new editor of Roll Call and her replacement at CQ.

“Susan is an outstanding news person and a fine editor,” said Scott Montgomery, outgoing Editor of Roll Call who recently left for a job at NPR. She understands the information needs of the CQ Roll Call audience as well as anyone in town.”

An anonymous source gushes about her to an extent that makes us a little uncomfortable, but here it goes: “Susan rose through the ranks at CQ. She’s the natural fit to take the lead as Editorial Director.  People at CQ and Roll Call know her to be a fantastic story editor. She works well with reporters; she knows what CQRC needs to be to succeed in the future.”

A common sentiment from the newsroom: “She is a much better fit for the job than Mills.”

Benkelman, formerly Executive Editor at CQ, has clocked in her time at CQRC. She first joined CQ in 1997 as Social Policy Editor, overseeing coverage of health care among other topics.

See the internal memo…

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Roll Call’s Next Editor: Who Will it Be?

As Roll Call searches high and low for a new editor, we bring you the prospects and tell you why each candidate will get the job offer and why he or she will not. CQ Roll Call has faced a lot of changes, layoffs and departures this year and more tweaks are on the way with the official merging of CQ Today and Roll Call in November. But first things first — with the recent departure of Editor Scott Montgomery to NPR, they need a new leader, a strong hand who needs authority and freedom to revamp the publication. In the interim they’ve placed CQ Roll Call Deputy Executive Editor Randy Wynn in charge. There’s a great nostalgia and affection for Roll Call among the alums around town. People want to see it succeed. But where is management going with it? In the words of a source long familiar with the inner workings of the publication, searching for a new editor is like asking someone to be captain of a team. The worry is, no one knows what sport they’re playing. The hopefuls are in no significant order. Nor have all of these folks been formally approached by management. CQ Roll Call Publicist Rebecca Gale declined to comment on the list of hopefuls. We wrote all the potential editors, most of whom either declined to comment or didn’t respond to a request for comment.

1. Emily Pierce: Roll Call Senate Editor

Why she’ll get it: A great editor and well-liked by reporters. She came up through the ranks and has been in the newsroom for about a decade. Can anyone remember Roll Call having a female at the helm? Would be a nice touch.

Why she won’t: She lacks experience as a upper level manager. “Although she’s fantastic I doubt they’d go for her,” one spy remarked.

2. Jason Dick: Roll Call House Editor; he has formally applied for the job.
Why he’ll get it: Has the experience from National Journal managing a daily. He is respected and has established relationships with people in the newsroom. He is nothing like his name.
Why he won’t: Too much of a newcomer. Much to its detriment, Roll Call likes old school.
3. David Hawkings: Editor of the CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing
Why he’ll get it: He’s a longtime editor at CQRC, intelligent and an old newspaper soul. He knows the company inside and out and has held numerous editorial positions. From his bio: Senior editor for legislative affairs; co-editor of “Politics in America,” CQ Roll Call‘s signature reference work on members of Congress; the weekly magazine’s economics editor and its congressional affairs editor; and managing editor of the CQ Daily Monitor, the predecessor of CQ Today.
Why he won’t: Because he’s too old school, a dinosaur, and how to manage Roll Call and what direction to take it in is something of a mystery at the moment. Paper needs to move forward. And frankly, sources tell us, it’s just not his thing.
4. Paul Singer:”I wish Roll Call nothing but the best of luck and I’m not talking to anybody about a job there,” Singer said, when we posed questions on the matter.
Why he’ll get it: Devoted to Roll Call. He’s the dark horse candidate and also a natural teacher — he teaches journalism at Georgetown.
Why he won’t get it: Because he jumped ship for USA Today, where he now works. What’s more, there is no offer or discussion on the table.
5. Randy Wynn: Acting, temporary Roll Call Editor
Why he’ll get it: If they suspect he might be good in the interim, maybe they’re priming and testing him for more treacherous waters.
Why he won’t: He has been at the publication since 1997. Despite a wealth of experience — eight years previously at Thomson Newspapers Washington Bureau — he doesn’t have the newsroom street cred and loyalty that some of the others do.

 

Roll Call Unveils Interim Editor

This just in from CQ Roll Call‘s Susan Benkelman:

 ”In light of Scott’s departure, I’ve asked Randy Wynn to sit in the Roll Call editor’s chair on an interim basis. The Roll Call editor job has been posted, and candidates will be interviewed in the next couple weeks. We’ll close the posting on Oct. 5, and we want to have the editor in place well in advance of the launch of the redesigned paper on Nov. 13.”

Scott Montgomery recently resigned to go to work for NPR. Wynn is presently Deputy Executive Editor for News, CQ Roll Call.

 

CQ Copy Desk Editor to Retire

And they are dropping like flies.

Earlier today we reported that Roll Call Editor Scott Montgomery is leaving the publication to go to work for NPR. This afternoon we learn that Charlie Southwell, an editor on the CQ Copy Desk, is retiring. His last day is on Sept. 21. He worked there a whopping 27 years.

See the memo…

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Specifics on Scott Montgomery’s NPR Post

As we reported just over an hour ago, Roll Call is losing its Editor, Scott Montgomery, who’s going to work for NPR.

He’ll be joining the public radio network as a supervising editor for Digital News. He joins their Digital News management team, where he’ll help lead the newsroom and develop coverage plans.

Roll Call Editor Resigns for Job at NPR

Roll Call Editor Scott Montgomery is leaving for a senior staff position at NPR. This is no doubt a big loss for the Roll Call newsroom where he was thought to be a morale center and curator of young talent. As of late, there have been a slew of layoffs at CQ Roll Call among sales personnel. He is said to be leaving on good terms. The position at NPR is significant and hard for him to pass up. Sources say he was not nudged out or laid off.

Montgomery first came to CQ in 2000 as an editor for CQ Weekly, then moved to CQ‘s parent company, the St. Petersburg Times, before returning to CQ Roll Call in 2009. In the fall of 2010 Scott was named Editor of Roll Call on the heels of Charlie Mitchell, who, to the dismay of the newsroom, was pushed out.

A newsroom employee who formerly worked with Mitchell in Editorial gave him a glowing review, but only agreed to speak about him anonymously: “Scott Montgomery is a fantastic editor. When Charlie Mitchell left, there was chaos, but Scott stepped in keep the newspaper moving forward. He kept Roll Call true to its mission and his improvements were felt in every corner of the newsroom. Roll Callers, old and new, are going to miss him. NPR is getting a first rate editor.”

Susan Benkelman will lead CQ/Roll Call during the interim period until a permanent head is named.

We reached out to CQ Roll Call PR. They had no additional comment.

UPDATE: See the memo…

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Editorial Director Mike Mills Out at CQ Roll Call

With changes at the bottom, middle and everywhere in between, come changes at the top. CQ Roll Call Editorial Director Mike Mills is out, which should make a slew of current and former journalists there ecstatic as he has been described to us as “the devil” and other similar descriptions by multiple sources. To put it mildly, the newsroom wasn’t pleased when Editor Charlie Mitchell was forced out in September of 2011 and Mills was viewed as largely to blame.

Mills has a new job lined up and, at least surfacely, is leaving on good terms. They’re saying he’ll be missed by newsroom, where he did some “fantastic things” in bringing the company together.

Who’s on their way in? A new CFO, and new head of sales. The CFO is an Economist guy.
The new head of sales is an internal promotion for Rick Rockelli.

Until Mills’ replacement is found, Susan Benkelman and Scott Montgomery will head up the newsroom, which should undoubtedly please reporters living in unpredictable times. The company laid off some 30 employees on the business end of the publication earlier in the week in addition to a small number of editorial employees. Benkelman and Montgomery are well-liked and respected editors. Keith White is confident they will do a good job as the company hunts for a new editorial director.

A New Role For Roll Call’s Niels Lesniewski

Things are looking up for Niels Lesniewski. Thought to be among the smartest minds on Congress, he has even been referred to as a “young David Hawkings.” Lesniewski (pronounced Neels Les-new-ski) is joining Roll Call‘s leadership team as a Senate reporter. He moves from CQ Roll Call, where he has been covering the Senate for their Legislative Action operation.

See the internal memo…in which Roll Call Editor Scott Montgomery begins with a phrase that is an absolute no-no to news reporters: “I know this note isn’t breaking any news…” WHAT?!

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