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Posts Tagged ‘Susan Benkelman’

CQ Roll Call Editorial Director to WSJ

CQ Roll Call Editorial Director Susan Benkelman is leaving the publication to oversee economics policy for the Washington Bureau of the WSJ.

Pssst…They’re on the prowl for her replacement.

See the internal memo. Read more

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CQ Roll Call Staffers Take Buyouts

Five employees at CQ Roll Call have been given buyouts at the publication, according to a newsroom memo sent out by Editorial Director Susan Benkelman obtained by FishbowlDC.

The employees are: John Bicknell, editor of CQ Weekly; Robert Healy, senior editor; Melinda Nahmias, deputy editor of CQ Weekly; Lauren Whittington, leadership editor; and Randy Wynn, chief news editor.

We hear that part of the buyout is roughly five months-worth of pay.

“We’re going to set a date for an appropriate, official celebration of these employees’ long and wonderful careers, most likely the third week in May, and we’ll make sure everyone is aware of those plans,” Benkelman wrote in the memo. “In the meantime, please wish them well on this next phase of their lives and careers. We’ll also have some snacks and drinks in the newsroom late tomorrow for these employees’ last day. I’ll bring the wine, and the Kleenex.”

FishbowlDC reported Thursday that several staffers had submitted requests for buyouts and that decisions could come by the end of the day. It looks like that panned out.

See the full memo… Read more

Newsflash to Five Roll Call Scribes: Say Hello to Your New Boss

Five Roll Call reporters  received word Wednesday that they now have a new boss. Instead of Editor David Rapp, they’ll now report to a different editor. What’s more: Their work will now be behind a paywall as it appears on

The big switch is part of a plan to realign resources and inject them into the overall digital operation. As sources inside the publication explained to FishbowlDC, the move allows the company to lower Roll Call‘s operating costs while they avoid laying off employees. Hypothetically speaking, insiders explain the shift could help if The Economist Group decides to sell or close Roll Call (athough they have not indicated there is no plan to do either).

Despite the fact that the two newsrooms are now fully integrated, confusion among readers still exists as some Roll Call reporters are still resisting the idea of having CQ invade their Roll Call. But they’ll have to adjust. Stories bylined by these reporters will still appear in the Roll Call print edition. If you’re a subscriber, all Roll Call stories appear on In turn,  CQ stories pertaining to policy news of the day appear on and the Roll Call print edition.

CQ Roll Call sources tell us tensions are high as some of the affected reporters were less than enthused by the initial news. Some of those called on to make the switch include White House Correspondent Steven Dennis, who is switching bosses but will continue to maintain his regular beat as a CQ Roll Call reporter, House Leadership reporter Daniel Newhauser and Humberto Sanchez, who covers the Senate. Others affected include Adriel Bettelheim, who will write a new CQ Morning Briefing newsletter that starts Monday, Kate Ackley, and Eliza Carney.

CQ Roll Call brass considers the move to be positive. In a memo dispatched to staff Thursday from Susan Benkelman

Read more

CQ Roll Call Media Relations Manager Gets Boost

While some publications around town still have no designated spokesperson, CQ Roll Call is promoting its Manager of Media Relations.

The news outlet announced today that Sujata Mitra has been named Director of Marketing Communications, reporting to Valerie Voci, V.P., of Marketing.

See the abundance of praise for Mitra… Read more

CQ Roll Call Publicist Shifts Gears To Editorial

CQ Roll Call Publicist Rebecca Gale is making a big leap this week from the public relations side of the publication to editorial. Specifically she will be a contributing editor for Roll Call. See the internal memo from Editorial Director Susan Benkelman below.

Team –

I’m happy to announce that Rebecca Gale, who’s been working as director of publicity and has handled our media relations, will be working in editorial, beginning immediately. Rebecca will serve as a contributing editor and will be working on Roll Call, helping out on the opinion section and working on other projects as needed. In fact, she’s currently writing a piece for Roll Call as we speak. She’s sitting in a cubicle near Dave Rapp’s office, so stop by and say hi.


See what Gale had to say about the move… Read more

In Other CQ Roll Call News…

Tough as it is to top a toilet flushing memo, in way less exciting news over at CQ Roll Call today, they’re announcing staff moves. In the meantime, would this be an appropriate time to request more toilet flushing tips?

The moves involve Anne Hoy, who takes over as executive editor for CQ news and Randy Wynn, who’s getting a new fancy title as chief news editor. Other team moves include Alan Ota and David Harrison to the economics team as well as John Gramlich, who is switching teams (so to speak) but will still cover legal affairs.

See the memo from Editorial Director Susan Benkelman

Read more

CQ Roll Call Names Dineen Veep of Digital Strategy

CQ Roll Call Editorial Director Susan Benkelman sent out a really exciting internal memo to staff this afternoon announcing that John Dineen is returning to the newsroom from the business side to head up digital. His new title: VP for Digital Strategy and Delivery.

The memo, sent to us by one of our reporter spies, is LONG and will make your eyes glaze over. The important news is above.

Read more

Roll Call Gets a New Rapp

The CQification of Roll Call is complete. CQ Roll Call, an Economist Group business, announced today that David Rapp has been named Editor of Roll Call. Rapp formerly worked for CQ for 22 years. Most recently he worked at Bloomberg‘s BGOV for the past year and a half. He’ll begin on November 12, just in time for the relaunch of the publication on November 13.

“I am thrilled to have David leading Roll Call,” said Susan Benkelman, Editorial Director of CQ Roll Call. “As we prepare to re-launch Roll Call on November 13th with expanded coverage, a redesigned printedition, and a free site, David’s track record in leading award-winning publications and in digital publishing makes him an excellent choice to take Roll Call forward. He also knows Capitol Hill as well as anyone in town, so he brings the precise combination of skills and expertise we need for this job.”

The search was purportedly intensive. They considered internal applicants as well as those, such as Rapp, from the outside. We’re hearing murmurings of discontent with the choice, but clearly brass is overjoyed with their pick.

The “new” Roll Call will present readers with “the political news they have come to rely on combined with topical policy analysis and legislative schedules that were hallmarks of CQ Today”.  The new daily print edition will publish Monday through Friday.

Read more on Rapp…

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…

Read more

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.