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Posts Tagged ‘Taylor West’

Are Brownstein’s Loyalties Still Squarely With NJ?

NJ may have just recently teamed up with CBS for the looming presidential election, but its Editorial Director Ron Brownstein will soon be showcasing his talents on ABC and CNN. Is he spreading the wealth or just spreading himself too thin? CNN has him exclusively amongst the cable networks. Brownstein writes a column that will continue to appear in both NJ and LAT.

This all begs the question. Might Brownstein’s role at NJ be diminishing? So far his title has not changed. But his attentions are scattering.

“Nothing is changing with Ron’s role here at all,” NJ Spokeswoman Taylor West told FishbowlDC by email. “He’s just signed exclusive contributor partnerships with ABC for broadcast and CNN for cable. They are both individual arrangements between Ron and the networks that are terrific opportunities for his work and insight to be seen as widely as possible, and obviously good opportunities for National Journal’s profile as well.

“As for NJ as a whole, we are incredibly excited about the partnership we’ve formed with CBS to cover the presidential campaigns. That’s a joint journalistic endeavor involving both newsrooms that we expect to produce very rich, very valuable coverage and insight across all our platforms.

“Different types of partnerships with different outlets aren’t that unusual. We’ve also partnered with MSNBC to put on a GOP primary debate in Florida next spring.”

UPDATE: West had something to add on Brownstein’s abilities. “Anyone who thinks that these partnerships will stretch Ron thin doesn’t know Ron Brownstein. This is a guy who can write a brilliant column, moderate a provocative panel, dig out the most important hidden data from a poll, edit a magazine cover story, and weigh in on the 2012 primary in a television segment…then immediately rattle off the latest Red Sox batting averages. Representing National Journal on ABC and CNN is a win-win for all of us.”

Politico-NJ At War Over Alleged Theft of Subscriber List by Former Politico Lobbying Reporter

Politico brass, which has a reputation for aggressively protecting its brand, fired off a legal threat to NJ officials this week after former lobbying reporter Chris Frates sent a note to a list of contacts that looked suspiciously like a subscriber list. In fact, many of those contacts were part of Politico‘s subscriber list. Frates (pictured at left) now works for NJ. He was among the original reporters at Politico and worked there for more than four years.

We caught on to the scent of something deeper when we noticed that Wednesday’s Politico Influence blog had this relatively hidden disclaimer at the bottom.

“EDITOR’S NOTE: Some POLITICO Influence readers recently received emails sent to an improperly obtained subscriber list. We apologize for this. Please rest assured that POLITICO has not sold or intentionally shared our confidential subscriber list. We have taken action to prevent further improper use of this list. Thank you for your patience and please let us know if you have reason to believe you are continuing to receive unwanted emails.”

A source who heard about the exchange between Politico and NJ tells us that it is abundantly clear that Frates improperly took the subscriber list when he left for NJ. One tweet that alerted readers and FishbowlDC to alleged questionable behavior by Frates was this one: Yussipick Yussi: “Not sure if it’s ok that @frates takes the @politico influencer email list to promote his new gig.” What apparently got Politico’s attention was that note that Frates sent to his email “list” (for lack of any better word). When Politico sent NJ the legal threat, Frates agreed in an apparent good faith effort to pare down his list and send to a more distinct core contact group.

There was never a discussion about which contacts were considered to be part of Politico’s subscriber list and which Frates assumed were his ordinary contacts.

NJ did not reprimand Frates, nor do they believe that he stole any subscriber list. They did, however, negotiate with Politico in an effort to solve the matter peacefully and without legal complications.

Several lobbyists complained about being spammed by Frates, and made it clear that Frates had walked away with a subscriber list.  The apparent concern was that readers would think they shared their confidential list instead of being what they considered to be the victim of a heist.

We sought comment from Politico management and did not receive a response.

NJ Publicist Taylor West told FishbowlDC, “As far as policy goes, we aren’t interested in anyone else’s lists. People read Chris Frates’s work because it’s need-to-know reporting. We’re not going to have any problem building our own community around his work at National Journal, and that’s what we plan to do.”


A Whopper of an Editor’s Note on a Positive Story

NJ‘s story on the ins and outs of CBS’ “The Early Show” isn’t so alarming as you move through it. The author spells out the new approach to the consistently third tier morning show — fewer celebs, more politicians, more of a serious “60 Minutes” type mentality because the strong female demographic can handle serious topics after 8 a.m. There’s talk that avoiding the Casey Anthony murder trial could spell disaster in the ratings — what does it matter when they’re still in third place? Main point: They’re “breaking the chains” says interim executive producer Batt Humphries, who is quoted extensively throughout the story.

It’s the Editor’s note at the end of the story that caught our eye: EDITOR’S NOTE: CBS News recently partnered with National Journal for coverage of the 2012 campaign.

Asked about the apparent conflict of interest in writing such a piece and the merits of publishing it when anything less than glowing could potentially cause a breakdown in the relationship, NJ Publicist Taylor West told FishbowlDC:

“As part of her beat, Amanda [Munoz Temple] monitors all the morning shows every day, and started conceiving a piece about the changed nature of the Early Show before the CBS/NJ partnership came about. The Hotline editors agreed that it was an interesting story – it’s definitely a new thing to see so much political and hard news coverage in that 8:00 hour on a broadcast network – and Amanda went to work on it. When the CBS/NJ partnership was put together (independent of anyone at Hotline), the editors carefully reviewed the story for accuracy and fairness, and added the Editor’s Note for full transparency.”

Asked why NJ ran the piece with such a relationship in place, West replied, “Because it’s an interesting, well-reported look at the things that are happening behind the scenes at CBS and what it could mean for the political junkies who make up Hotline’s core audience. Spiking a good piece of reporting because of a partnership between the two organizations would be exactly the wrong response.”

Matt Cooper Named Editor of NJ Daily

National Journal Group announced today that Matthew Cooper has been named Editor of National Journal Daily. Cooper will oversee a “ramping up” of Daily resources. This means more reporters and editors focused on congressional coverage and a new column from congressional correspondent Major Garrett.

Newsroom shifts are likely as resources are added and reapportioned to the Daily. These would primarily involve moves and promotions within the newsroom, as well as new hires, but could ultimately lead to departures.

Cooper joined the publication in 2010 as Managing Editor of White House coverage.

Industry sources are framing what is happening at NJ a little differently. First of all, more than one source referred to it as a “shakeup” not a “ramp up.” Secondly, we hear that some NJ reporters are exploring job possibilities at other publications, but nothing out of the ordinary for the usual incestuousness amongst Washington publications. Thirdly, we hear reports that the pace of the work isn’t what management would like it to be, there are frustrations and they’ll be “putting a boot in the ass of those who are working at magazine pace.”

Publicist Taylor West said the changes were happening to keep the publication on a competitive track. She said, “It’s born from a desire to keep adding to the momentum of the relaunch and to understand that a competitive market means we always have to keep evolving and improving. We made some huge strides with the relaunch, and we learned a ton, and now we want to focus in with even more resources and an even sharper approach on the Daily specifically.”

West said she hadn’t heard any concerns about pace. But rather this is “a motivation to make sure we’re always tuned in to the needs of our subscribers and making a product that meets those in the sharpest way possible. Also, a lot of excitement to have Matt bringing some fresh eyes and a lot of experienced insight to that.”

As for NJ reporters interviewing at other publications, she remarked, “I don’t know anything about specific reporters, but there’s always some natural amount of moving around within the D.C. press corps.”

In a release, Editor-in-Chief Ron Fournier of course had high praise for Cooper: “The Daily’s mission is to arm Washington leaders every day with precisely what they need to know about Congress to succeed, whenever, wherever, and however they need it. Under Matt’s leadership, we’ll be able to hone in on that mission with even more energy and precision than we ever have.”

All Eyes on Lara Logan

If you took a quick jaunt through CBS’ pre-party to the WHCD last weekend, there was an assortment of journalists such as WJLA’s Steve Chaggaris, Mother Jones‘ Bureau chief David Corn, NPR Publicist Anna Christopher and Politico media writer Keach Hagey. The party, a shared space with The Atlantic/NJ, also brought NJ Publicist Taylor West to the festivities.

Back in the far left corner, we were told, was Sean Penn and David Byrne. At this point thankfully, Penn wasn’t putting his arms up in frustration when a stranger snapped his picture. But wandering back, we eyed the person most discussed at the party, and it wasn’t Penn, who was chatting away with his prom date, Corn. It was Lara Logan. Surrounded by female friends, she was seen laughing and seemed glad to be there. This was one day before her “60 Minutes” interview about her ordeal in Egypt was to air.

Also spotted at the party: News CBS News President David Rhodes and Chairman Jeff Fager, Washington bureau chief Chris Isham, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. CBS News correspondents in attendance: Nancy Cordes, Jan Crawford, and CBS/Slate’s John Dickerson.

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers


White Diamonds

“RIP Liz Taylor. I’ll miss you and your jewel-scented fragrances.” – FishbowlDC’s Matt Dornic.

Kids these days

“Dear America: Please stop parking your fucking beater SUVs next to me so your brats can ding my fucking car. Jesus.” – Metro Weekly’s Sean Bugg.

Another new Daily Caller hire?

“@BRFoo you’re hired.” – the Caller‘s editor-in-chief, Tucker Carlson, responds to a follower who said, “@TuckerCarlson you need a twitter copy editor!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Pocket-tweeting: no one is immune

“On message, even while pocket-tweeting? Impressive. RT @democraticgovs: DddDdD” – NJ‘s communications director Taylor West.

There’s a motherf–king tweeter on this motherf–king plane

“Thought I would be able to unplug completely flying to London, but alas there is Internet so I must email and tweet at 41,000 feet.” – HuffPost editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington, who can’t put down her phone. Even if it means disobeying the flight attendants’ instructions.

Editor attempts to build anti-Niall Ferguson consensus

“We can all agree that Niall Ferguson is a prick. If they keep putting him at the front of @Newsweek, I’ll never get more than 10 pages in.” – associate editor at the Atlantic, Nicholas Jackson.

Photo of the day

Ellen Degeneres tweeted this photo yesterday. She’s not a D.C. journalist, but she may be Tina Brown‘s mother.

Secret Details Emerge on Politico Project

Insider details are emerging about Politico’s POLITICO PRO, which has so far been a relatively closely guarded project for the famously self-promotional company. Policy isn’t sexy. But amongst top brass at a number of publications around Washington it is viewed as a huge growth area in D.C. journalism.

Sources with first-hand knowledge tell FishbowlDC that Politico does not see Bloomberg News’s BGOV as a competitor and that, in fact, the two companies late last year discussed working together. Politico is selling its new product as reporting on policies, politics and personalities; BGOV is selling its product as more of a data service and analytical tool for investors.

Politico unveils POLITICO PRO next week.

Staff was briefed yesterday. FishbowlDC has learned specifics that higher-ups don’t want rolled out yet. 1. The project has more than doubled its early projections for subscribers. 2. We hear the number is several hundred, and soon will top 1000 – lots of Hill and agency officials and staffers. 3. General Electric has signed on as launch sponsor for all three new subscription sites: energy, health care and technology.

In more competitive details, Politico has hired 29 new editorial writers and editors, more than NJ had for its site-wide relaunch, and more reporters than BGOV has brought aboard for its product. Update: Bloomberg PR disputes this. Read about it after the jump…All are anticipated to hire more reporters. Washingtonian is set to run a big piece on this new, hyper-competitive market as early as next issue.

NJ Communications Director Taylor West downplayed the heightened competition factor among the publications as did a Bloomberg spokeswoman. See their quotes after the jump… Also see a full internal list of the Politico Pro staffRead more

POTUS Parties at Atlantic Media’s Douglass Home


In this case, pretty deep. There are several details not to miss in a White House Pool Report from this evening:

1. President Obama attended a going away party tonight for top aide David Axelrod at the Dupont Circle neighborhood home of Altantic Media V.P. and former Obama White House spokeswoman Linda Douglass.

2. The Pool Report is written by NJ reporter Rebecca Kaplan, who has the odd and awkward responsibility of reporting about a spokeswoman from her own parent company.

3. This is not the first occasion for Obama to visit Douglass’s home. POTUS attended a $1 million fundraiser for the DNC at Douglass’s home last fall. The dinner was organized by her husband, John Phillips. See story here.

4. Someone attempted (and apparently failed) to drive through the motorcade.

Motorcade is rolling at 8:27 p.m. en route to Linda Douglass’ house (spokeswoman for the White House during the campaign and a health care spokeswoman during the beginning of the administration). Former ABC reporter who now works at…National Journal! She heads the communications team there.

POTUS is here for  David Axelrod’s going away party. FLOTUS did not attend.

Quiet ride — a few young guys who looked to be in their 20s waved hello as we rode up 22nd St. But someone did try to drive through the motorcade. Obviously that didn’t happen.

We arrived at 8:37.

Rebecca Kaplan

> Update: More from Kaplan about V.I.P.’s and D.C. journos seen leaving the party.

Left Douglass’ residence – a condo building right by Dupont Circle -  at 10:20. No POTUS sightings.

Pool was holding in the van outside the whole time, but we did spot a few guests as they came and went. From the administration, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and Energy Secretary Steven Chu were seen leaving.  A few reporters were in attendance too. Major Garrett (National Journal) waved in the direction of the pool vans as he walked  in. Jake Tapper (ABC), Chuck Todd (NBC) and John Harwood (CNBC/New York Times) were also seen on their way out.

> Update #2: The headline has been changed to reflect Douglass’s actual title, which is V.P. for Atlantic Media. Taylor West is Communications Director for NJ. Kaplan’s line above is confusing and not specifically accurate.

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers


Talk of the Town: Speaker Boehner’s unstoppable crying

“Oh boy….he’s not going to make it. #Boehnertears” — WaPo‘s Jonathan Capehart in a Wednesday tweet.

“Got thru reference to missing brother–who runs a restaurant–without crying. #firstaccomplishments” — Mother Jones D.C. Bureau Chief and Politics Daily Columnist David Corn in a Wednesday tweet. (Pssst…incidentally, Corn, your hairstyle may be starting to resemble that of the Founding Fathers. Hint. Hint.)

“I think I saw @GlennThrush wipe away a tear as Gibbs was discussing his departure.” — The Hill’s White House Correspondent Sam Youngman referring to Politico‘s Glenn Thrush and outgoing White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

“Remember that Boehner’s crying cue is almost always when he says “American Dream”. #congresswatch.” — WaPo‘s “The Fix” in a Wednesday tweet.

“Duuuuude. Hold. It. Together. @SpeakerBoehner” — Hot Air‘s Michelle Malkin in a Wednesday tweet.

“Is Boehner crying? Can’t tell.” — Washington Post Express News Editor Sara Schwartz in a Wednesday tweet. And later: “Happy tears?”

“Boehner has the handkerchief out – not sure if that means he’s already shedding tears or not.” — Congressional Cox Radio Reporter Jamie Dupree in a Wednesday tweet.

“@johnboehner’s daughter wiping her eyes as her dad was sworn in. Tears run in the fam.” – NJ‘s Susan Davis in a Wednesday tweet.

“Safest bet of the day? John Boehner to cry within the next ten minutes.” — CNN’s Piers Morgan in a Wednesday tweet.

Gavel humor (i.e. not so subtle d–k jokes)

“I have no idea whether size matters. Look at the size of that thing.” — MSNBC’s Chris Matthews on his “Hardball” program Tuesday.

“Gave in my pants.” — TPM‘s Brian Beutler in a Wednesday tweet, followed by, “Bad case of gavel envy.”

“That gavel Boehner is wielding is a big one. More mallet than gavel.” — CBS White House Radio Correspondent Mark Knoller in a Wednesday tweet.

Journo needs Betty for device withdrawal

“I just spent two hours without electronic devices. I need to go to Betty Ford.” — Human Events Senior Editor Emily Miller in a Wednesday tweet.

Would-be prankster on the loose

“Part of me wishes Pelosi & Boehner had repeated their outfits from 2 yrs ago, just to confuse photo editors down the road.” — NJ Publicist Taylor West in a Wednesday tweet.

NJ Parties Like the Pink Panther

It was Night 4 of NJ‘s flurry of launch parties at the rented space on E St. Thursday night was thought to be the mother of parties so far. The room was packed. So much so, that partygoers periodically slipped out into the cool air when they couldn’t take the crowding. Or, when they hoped to flee the towering wine-drinking man in blue linen who pawed some female guests (he wasn’t with NJ and appeared to be a straggler who wandered in off the street. At least one woman pushed him away).

Guests enjoyed cocktails, fancy hors d’oeuvres and the sounds of a live jazz band. They complained of too few bathrooms and a sweltering indoor temperature.

The dimly-lit warehouse space was enveloped in red velvet curtains. NJ Daily Editor Jason Dick loosely bragged that he had attended party after party and wasn’t tiring of it.”This is how we roll,” he joked. “I take my cues for living from the old Pink Panther movies with the martinis.

“It’s a little bit more fun than I anticipated,” he said, referring to the new web site launch and subsequent parties. “We started this back in February and it was hard to see where it was going. We’re all working as hard as we ever have. There’s a lot more steam in our strides.”

NJ brass did their best to squash talk of a NJ-Politico rivalry. But partygoers chattered about it. “For me, Politico is a start, but I’m not going to get a lot of substance out of it,” said a guest. Others felt the party logo looked too much like Politico. Dick dismissed the so-called feud, saying there much less animosity and more friendship than people know. “I have a lot more friends than enemies at Politico,” he said. He laughed, saying people had tweeted earlier in the week about whether NJ and Politico were going to “meet in a parking lot with knives and guns.”

Fournier said he was “excited” about the launch but just as excited to make it an early night and get home to his wife and child.

Many a journo turned up. Find out who and see more pictures after the jump…

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