The biggest changes at Roll Call involve the eventual merging of the Politics section with CQ’s political coverage (more on that below), as well as two important editor moves between Roll Call and CQ. Roll Call Managing Editor David Meyers is moving to CQ, where he will be in charge of all publications pertaining to members of Congress (this includes the biennial CQ book “Politics in America,” the CQ.com members database, Capitol Advantage’s “Congress at Your Fingertips” and other member and staff-related research). David will report to John Dineen. Capitol Advantage’s research team, led by Tim Yoder, will move to David’s group, as will the CQ Weekly research team, headed by Nell Benton, and CQ’s Members’ team, led by Christy Lyons. Dan Parks, formerly managing editor of CQ Today, will replace David as Roll Call’s managing editor, reporting to Roll Call Editor Charlie Mitchell, bringing valuable CQ expertise into the Roll Call newsroom.
Full, VERY LONG restructure memo after the jump.
Today we announce a new editorial structure for CQ-Roll Call Group. The changes I’ve outlined below are the result of an intensive analysis of our editorial operations conducted over the two months since Roll Call acquired Congressional Quarterly. This new structure, we believe, will streamline our editorial processes and help us reduce costs. But, more importantly, they will allow CQ and Roll Call to better excel at delivering the most timely, insightful and relevant journalism and online information services that our readers and clients have come to expect over the years.
Our new structure will constitute the largest newsroom covering Congress and government, with 184 reporters, editors, researchers, legislative analysts, copy editors, Web producers, graphics designers and other professionals, publishing dozens of print and online publications and online information services. It is with great sadness, however, that today I announce the departures of 44 editorial personnel from the CQ and Roll Call newsrooms. Their positions were eliminated, effective today, either because their jobs directly overlapped with others in our merged companies, were redundant in our new streamlined operations or were determined not to be core to our mission. We have engaged an outplacement consulting firm to help our former colleagues reach the next stage of their careers. Some of the people leaving are longtime employees of CQ or Roll Call. Others arrived only recently. All should feel proud of what they accomplished during their tenure.
When we set out to determine a new editorial structure for CQ-Roll Call Group, we said we would keep the Roll Call and CQ print publications separate, but that we would integrate the staffs of our online services CQ.com, Gallery Watch, CongressNow and Capitol Advantage. With that in mind, we had three major goals: to identify staffing and resource overlaps; to simplify editorial decision-making and streamline the operational workflow; and to improve EditorialÂ’s working relationship with our colleagues in IT and in the business offices in the area of new product development.
I believe our new structure accomplishes these goals and, as a result, will make the combined CQ-Roll Call Group a leaner, nimbler and more energized journalistic enterprise. Here is an overview of the changes:
The center of CQ’s online and print news operation will remain the editors and reporters of our major areas of coverage – the domains. Under the new structure, the domain editors will have clearer authority and responsibility for all beat coverage, breaking news and analysis for CQ.com, CQ Today and CQ Weekly. Randy Wynn will run the News department, reporting to Susan Benkelman. Adriel Bettelheim will be RandyÂ’s deputy editor. David Hawkings will continue as editor of CQ Weekly, which will have a much closer working relationship with the domain editors going forward.
CQ Legislative Tracking
Peter King will run CQ’s Legislative Tracking team, reporting to John Dineen. This team will have two divisions. Legislative Information, headed by Kimberly Hallock, will handle the bill tracking and analysis duties of CQ.com and Gallery Watch (as it becomes integrated into the CQ.com platform); and Legislative Action, led by Caitlin Hendel, will encompass more than a dozen reporters and editors who will provide comprehensive coverage of all markups and floor action, and will oversee House Action Reports (HAR) and CongressNow (as they, too, become integrated into the CQ.com platform).
The biggest changes at Roll Call involve the eventual merging of the Politics section with CQ’s political coverage (more on that below), as well as two important editor moves between Roll Call and CQ. Roll Call Managing Editor David Meyers is moving to CQ, where he will be in charge of all publications pertaining to members of Congress (this includes the biennial CQ book “Politics in America,” the CQ.com members database, Capitol Advantage’s “Congress at Your Fingertips” and other member and staff-related research). David will report to John Dineen. Capitol Advantage’s research team, led by Tim Yoder, will move to David’s group, as will the CQ Weekly research team, headed by Nell Benton, and CQ’s Members’ team, led by Christy Lyons. Dan Parks, formerly managing editor of CQ Today, will replace David as Roll CallÂ’s managing editor, reporting to Roll Call Editor Charlie Mitchell, bringing valuable CQ expertise into the Roll Call newsroom.
We are recasting CQ’s Consumer Publishing unit to focus on two important free Web sites: Congress.org and CQPolitics.com. Scott Montgomery will lead this group, reporting to me. Scott and his team will spend the next few months rolling out new functionality for our redesigned Congress.org site, which will allow citizens to become informed about issues they care about, connect with each other and engage in citizen lobbying. TheyÂ’ll also be busy merging the best of Roll Call and CQ political coverage, with a goal of launching a new politics Web site early in 2010.
We have asked Anne Hoy, a former CQ executive editor who most recently has been Politics editor at CQ, to take on the dual roles of overseeing CQ’s Inside Congress domain – which will involve a lot of coordination with Roll Call – and helping CQ’s specialty publications (Budget Tracker, HealthBeat and CQ Homeland Security) continue in their editorial and business success. Anne will also help to integrate Gallery Watch’s Briefing Rooms into CQ’s specialty publications.
Copy and Production Desk
CQ’s Continuous News Desk, copy desks and Web production desks will be merged into a single Copy and Production Desk, headed by Arwen Bicknell. This team will do copy editing, layout and produce all CQ print and online publications. Roll CallÂ’s copy desk is not involved in this consolidation, but will maintain close ties with Arwen’s group.
Art and Graphics
Roll Call and CQ will each maintain separate production and photo departments, while sharing resources where it makes sense. The design and graphics shop under Jamie Baylis will handle all print and online graphics design, as well as carrying out design mandates for the CQ-Roll Call Group.
New Product Development
A key goal, as mentioned earlier, was to strengthen the relationship among Editorial, IT and business stakeholders in new product development. Our new structure retains Editorial’s front-line ownership of user experience-design decisions (in keeping with budget and technology considerations, as always). Other duties, such as user-experience engineering and requirements writing, move over to CQ-Roll Call Group’s IT department, under Dennis Arndt, and Neil MaslanskyÂ’s Strategy and Development shop, respectively. Mark Wegner, managing editor of Gallery Watch, will join CQ’s Brendan Walsh in moving to Neil’s group as requirements writers. User-experience engineers Steven Shyu and Tim Showers will move to IT.
Meanwhile, Kit Unger will continue to head User Experience Design within Editorial, joined by Web designer Matthew Marco from IT. A new operations group, led by Amanda Hicks, will coordinate Editorial’s data integrity, product development and operational needs.
The past several months have been difficult, no question about it. Everyone at Roll Call, CQ, Gallery Watch and Capitol Advantage has gone through a lot, and we are all eager to move on. I want to thank each of you for your professionalism, dedication and continued terrific work during this transition. There are obviously many details we need to communicate to each of you, and even more we have yet to work out. No doubt, we will get some things wrong, so we will depend on you to point out the rough spots. You have my commitment that we will communicate frequently with you, individually and in group meetings, as we adjust to our new environment. WeÂ’re also planning an off-site function in the next week or so to bring together all Editorial staff from Roll Call and CQ for the first time. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact Susan, John, Charlie, Scott, your direct supervisor or me if there is anything you would like to ask or discuss.