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Posts Tagged ‘Susan Benkelman’

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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CQ Editor Retires After 25 Years

After 25 years at CQ, Jan Austin is announcing her retirement. Known as a “fantastic editor,” she is considered “the conscience of the newsroom” and has trained generations of reporters on how to cover Congress. She is editor of the CQ Almanac and an editor at CQ Weekly.

The move allegedly has no connection to the recent wave of layoffs to rock CQ Roll Call.

She will be deeply missed.

See the internal memo from Susan BenkelmanRead more

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.

CQ Roll Call Adds Reporters to Policy Beats

CQ Roll Call’s Susan Benkelman issued an internal memo today to announce two new hires and a newsroom shift. Ambreen Ali will become a technology reporter. Melissa Attias will now cover healthcare. “I’m excited to announce staff additions in two important policy beats, and one personnel shift in the Executive Briefing line,” wrote Benkelman. At the bottom of the memo comes the news that they’ve lost Kathy Wolfe to Politico. Wolfe has been at the pub for a decade. John Boyd will assume her responsibilities at the Executive Briefing on Transportation.

See the memo…
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CQ Roll Call Makes a Brash Hire

Philip Brasher, who wrote about ag policy for the Des Moines Register and most recently worked in Gannett’s D.C. bureau, comes to CQ Roll Call to be editor of the Executive Briefing on Agriculture and Food.

He begins on Jan. 17.

See the internal memo from Susan Benkelman

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Roll Call’s Starkey Moves Back to CQ

Roll Call web editor Melanie Starkey is moving to CQ to begin a new role as editor for daily news.  In an email announcing the transition, Susan Benkelman called Starkey a “solid editor with great news judgment and an unflappable disposition.”

Prior to her most recent gig, Starkey was a copy editor and web producer for CQ. Before joining the company, she was a Sunday/Monday news editor at the St. Petersburg Times, and before that a copy editor for the paper. Congrats to Melanie!

Ives Upped at CQ Roll Call

Susan Benkelman announced this morning a promotion for CQ’s Benton Ives.  The newsgroup’s Economics and Finance editor will transition from his post overseeing coverage of the debt and deficit crisis to take the newly created position of editor for CQ’s Executive Briefing on Banking and Finance.  In his new position, Ives will be responsible for writing a daily newsletter each morning and then reporting out the stories, adding context and content, as the day unfolds.

In a memo announcing the promotion, Benkelman said “Benton took over the economics team about a year ago, and has done terrific work steering the team toward great coverage of the debt and deficit crisis. Always the trailblazer, Benton now wants to turn his entrepreneurial energy toward our newest offering, the Executive Briefing.”

Ives is  currently on his second tour of duty at CQ.  He returned to the publication in 2007 after working as a finance reporter for Dow Jones Newswires.  John Cranford will be filling the vacancy for the Finance team until a replacement for Ives is found.

Congrats to Benton!

Longtime CQ Defense Writer Upped to Editor

CQ‘s John Donnelly is being promoted to editor after seven years working as a defense writer for the publication. The position is newly created. CQ Executive Editor Susan Benkelman announced the news today.

Little known facts about Donnelly: In college at William & Mary he was a finalist in competition for valedictorian. He was also a Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity brother and was involved in theater. Apparently his only main stage role was playing the sardonic Dr. Relling in Henrik Ibsen’s “The Wild Duck.”

Congratulations to Donnelly!

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CQ Roll Call Adds Two Reporters

CQ Executive Editor Susan Benkelman announced yesterday the addition of two new staff writers to the CQ social policy team.  Joanne Kenen, a senior writer in health policy for the New America Foundation, will join the publication on May 2 to cover health care.  She is a former Reuters reporter and held Kaiser Family Foundation media fellowship from 2006-2007.

In addition,  David Harrison, a writer for, will join CQ to cover retirement issues including Social Security, pensions and other related policy development. David has been with Stateline since September 2009 and before that wrote for the Roanoke Times and the Connection Newspapers in Virginia.  Harrison’s first day is May 9.

Congrats to David and Joanne!

CQ-Roll Call Snags Politico Senior Editor

CQ-Roll Call has hired Fred Barbash, a senior editor at Politico. Before that, he worked as an editor and writer at WaPo. He joins CQ-Roll Call as deputy managing editor of CQ Weekly.

Barbash starts next month.

Politico’s Executive Editor Jim VandeHei remarked, “Fred is a terrific editor – and a terrific guy. As an editor and professor, he has shown great passion and skill for training reporters so he will be great in his new leadership role at CQ. We wish him all the best.”

Read the internal memo from CQ-Roll Call Executive Editor Susan Benkelman after the jump…

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