Ron Fournier says he regards Sandy Johnson, his predecessor as head of The Associated Press’s Washington bureau, as “a mentor.”
Johnson, though, regards Fournier, who replaced her in a hard-feelings shake-up in May, as a threat to one of the most influential institutions in American journalism.
“I loved the Washington bureau,” said Johnson, who left the AP after losing the prestigious position. “I just hope he doesnâ€™t destroy it.”
The Associated Press Managing Editors (APME) and some 25 daily papers have teamed up with AP’s Washington bureau for an unusual joint project that investigates congressional earmarks.
The project, set to be unveiled this weekend, includes a four-story package produced by the AP and a congressional earmarks database that will be available to all AP members.
The package, centered on a 2,200-word story, includes content supplied by 25 daily newspapers that have been reporting on the earmarks of their local congressional delegations since April. Earmarks are those federal budget items procured by local representatives specifically for local entities.
Michael Oreskes, executive editor of the International Herald Tribune in Paris and the former Washington bureau chief for the New York Times (1997-2001), has been named the AP Managing Editor for U.S. News.
“In the newly expanded position, Oreskes will oversee all U.S. news from The Associated Press, from state bureaus to national political coverage, for both U.S. and world audiences,” said the release.
Oreskes is 53 and has served as executive editor of the International Herald Tribune since 2005. Previously, he was deputy managing editor of The New York Times, supervising television and Internet content. …
“Oreskes will oversee the work of AP’s bureaus in the 50 states, which will be reporting up to him through four regional operations being created in 2008 and 2009,” says the release. “He’ll also supervise the work of the Washington bureau, the news service’s largest domestic bureau, and AP’s national feature, beat and investigative reporters.”
AP’s Kathleen Carroll sent out a staff-wide email today, obtained by FishbowlDC, in which she details “some important changes in News.”
Read the full memo after the jump…
Earlier FishbowlDC coverage of Sandy Johnson’s ouster as DC Bureau Chief at the Associated Press:
Earlier on FishbowlDC: “Sandy Johnson Leaves AP”
We’re hearing more…
-Lots of folks in the newsroom are calling it a “firing” although the memo does mention that she’s been offered a position at AP (no word if she’ll take it or what the position is). “Forced out” is how one AP source put it. Besides, Sandra beginning her farewell note with “With great sadness, I am leaving my position as Washington bureau chief today,” does seem to offer a hint at how things went down. It’s no secret that Sandy Johnson and the AP management in New York have never gotten along. In fact, some have wondered how she managed to last this long given the tension.
-Ron Fournier will take over as active DC Bureau Chief.
-Odd timing? You bet (kinda Glasser-like, really). It’s the middle of a nomination fight and Johnson always called the AP’s state races, so who’s gonna call them on Tuesday? It will be Ron, although he’s never been in that position before.
-Management from NY came down this morning to meet with the DC news editors.
-Fournier is very well respected within the DC bureau and has a great ability to look forward. He’ll likely be consumed with helping to bring the AP into the digital age.
FishbowlDC reported earlier on the severance package struggles between UPI and the employees it recently let go.
We’ve now learned that the two parties have reached an agreement on a severance package and details should be forthcoming shortly.
FishbowlDC has learned that Dow Jones Newswire is dropping the DC defense coverage beat, having decided that it is no longer a priority. Instead, DJ hopes to more intensely focus on core financial service issues. This means that reporter Rebecca Christie, who had been covering the beat, will now be a general assignment reporter, “able to cover for all the other reporters on the bureau and also write broadly about the issues of the day,” according to an email sent last week.
FishbowlDC hears that the AP’s DC print bureau has issued a — get this — office-wide ban on microwaved popcorn in response to the funky odor of burnt popcorn bags. AP print types: Don’t worry. Just head to your broadcast bureau, where the ban is not in effect (this, we assume, will only add to the broadcast/print rivalry at AP). Will the ban remain when all of AP moves into the same building at 13th and L in a few more months? Stay tuned…
From Dow Jones:
John Connor will retire from Dow Jones &Co. after more than a decade as bureau chief in Washington and more than a quarter-century of distinguished work as a journalist and leader for Newswires in the U.S. capital.
John joined Dow Jones in Washington in 1980 as a news editor for Capital Markets Report after serving as Washington bureau chief for The Bond Buyer newspaper. He was named Newswires bureau chief in 1995.
John has embodied the best qualities of real-time reporter and bureau chief and has maintained the highest standards of journalistic integrity. John has led by example in his own reporting, with significant scoops ranging from uncovering municipal bond sales scandals in the mid-1980s to being first at the turn of the century with news of who leaked sensitive information to the market about Treasury bond sales. For the latter work, John received an award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers as well as one of the annual William R. Clabby awards bestowed internally for the best work at Dow Jones Newswires.
Dozens, if not hundreds, of reporters have benefited from John’s tutelage and from his deep knowledge of how Washington works. Newswires’ readers have benefited greatly over many years from their work as well as from John’s scoops, telling analyses and insightful columns.
We wish John all the best in his future endeavors. He will be missed.
Neal Lipschutz and Rick Stine
Say hello to UPI’s Pentagon Correspondent Pam Hess.
How many suits do you own? Birthday suit, bathing suit, no actual suit.
What word do you routinely misspell? Anything with an O in it because my computer keys are still wonked up from Iraq and it always comes out with extra O’s
Did you see Brokeback Mountain? Yes. Very sad about the shirt.
Did you see The Da Vinci Code? I refuse to see it on the grounds that Tom Hanks is rocking a mullet.
What’s the name of your cell phone ring? Cell phone rings have names? Better question: is my cell phone charged? Can I find my charger?
What time did you get up this morning? Get up, or start listening to Steve Inskeep?
When did you last cry and why? Just a few minutes ago — a tale of personal heroism, but off the record so I can’t share details. Very frustrating to me too, as someone else is going to write about it and I’ve been forbidden. I cried reading Tony Perry’s great piece on a Marine medal of honor winner. And in September at the edge of the Grand Canyon after a five-day hike to the river and back. I clearly cry at the drop of a hat.
Which of the seven deadly sins are you? How about which of the seven dwarves am I? Sleepy. Also Grumpy. And I just sneezed so Sneezy.
Beach, city or country? All three, in equal measures.
Would you say you’re cute? Pretty? Hot? Beautiful? No, I would not say any of those things, particularly on a publicly available survey. I have readers/viewers, however, who have very strong feelings about the way I look — my hair and glasses are a very hot topic, and are NOT popular — so you can ask them.
Read the rest when you click below…(and see previous FishbowlDC interviews: Julie Mason, David Shuster, Joe Curl, Alex Pareene, Peter Beinart, Jonah Goldberg, Megyn Kendall, Ana Marie Cox, Jim Brady, Howard Mortman, Amy Argetsinger, Jose Antonio Vargas, Chuck Todd, Tom Gottlieb, Kelly Ann Collins, David von Drehle, David Lat, Mark Leibovich, Zain Verjee, David Plotz, Paul Kane, Karen Travers, Mark Halperin, Hugo Gurdon, Greg Kelly,Ken Rudin, John Dickerson, Anne Schroeder, Spencer Ackerman, Bret Baier, Bob Sellers, Greta van Susteren, Danielle Jones, Jonathan Salant, John McCalla)