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Washington Examiner Hires A Lethal Writer

The Washington Examiner has hired Sean Higgens away from Investor’s Business Daily as an editorial writer. Watch out, Higgens may be “mild mannered” but he knows Krav Maga, an Israeli military defense technique. So if you disagree with him you may not want to mess with him. Meanwhile, Emily Babay, who has been on the Crime & Punishment beat, has been promoted to Digital News Editor. Aubrey Whelan, who covers Alexandria, Fairfax and and Arlington, will be replacing Babay on the crime beat alongside Scott McCabe.

Noteworthy: An Occupier apparently hit on Whelan a few weeks ago. Love is in the air? No, no, no, she firmly turned him down.

Read the memo from Editor Stephen Smith. Pretty creative and thorough for an office memo…

I’m pleased to announce the addition of one staffer and the promotion of two others, with the aim of strengthening The Washington Examiner in key areas of coverage.

Sean G. Higgins, Washington correspondent for Investor’s Business Daily, joins David Freddoso’s Commentary team as a Senior Editorial Writer. In nearly 12 years with IBD, Sean has covered Congress, the White House, politics, and almost everything else in the capital, gaining wide expertise in the issues of greatest interest to us. “Sean will be doing the kind of reported commentary that gives our section its distinctive quality,” Freddoso says. Before going to IBD, Sean was editor of Thompson Publishing’s Local/State Funding Report, a weekly newsletter on government spending and federalism issues. He began his journalism career at The Daily Banner in Cambridge, Maryland, covering state and local politics, as well as crime and courts. He was born in Manassas, grew up mainly in Alexandria, graduated from St. Stephen’s (now St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School), and Gettysburg College. He has a mild manner but brings plenty of muscle to his opinions. Among his hobbies is Krav Maga — Israeli self-defense techniques.

Emily Babay, who has teamed up with Scott McCabe for the last two years on our popular Crime & Punishment page, becomes Digital News Editor, assisting AME Tim Richardson as we move to a new Content Management System and expand our online operations. Emily will be responsible for the Examiner’s digital news report during the evening hours, overseeing the “final edition” each night. She also will be responsible for updates to our mobile and iPad editions, as well as our social media accounts. Leaving C & P was no small thing for a reporter who, in her first week here, said she felt like the happiest person in the world when she was in a courtroom. Emily has been the newsroom leader in making the Examiner website smarter, faster, and more comprehensive. A graduate of Penn, she was online news editor of the Daily Pennsylvanian, where she produced, edited, and trained staff to create interactive features, audio, videos, and slide shows. While still in college, she worked 20 hours a week at philly.com, the website of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News.

Replacing Emily in Crime & Punishment is Aubrey Whelan, who joined the Examiner last fall. Aubrey’s regular beat has been Fairfax, Arlington, and Alexandria, but she made her biggest splash with her enterprising coverage of Occupy DC, beating the competition time and time again. She managed to win the confidence of the Occupiers, and she never flinched when things got rough. A couple of weeks ago, when one of the remaining campers made suggestive overtures to her, Aubrey quickly put her foot down. “I’m 23. You’re homeless. Stop!”  Before coming to the Examiner, she was an intern at The St. Petersburg Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and NBC News. She’s a graduate of Penn State, where she was Metro editor of The Daily Collegian.

Cheers, Steve

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