In three weeks, the National Journal will re-launch a “new, totally re-imagined” magazine, according to a memo today from top editors Tim Grieve and Kristin Roberts. No happy memo is complete these days without a list of new hires, and this one fits the bill: “Success breeds success, and the gains we’ve made over the last year make it possible for us to keep growing,” write the editors.
Six bold names are on the list. Most notable among them is Emily Schultheis. In late March, Schultheis was a featured staffer on the news release announcing the launch of Politico’s Campaign Pro, one of its fleet of premium, paywalled information services on Washington politics and policy. The service, announced the release, was designed “to meet the demand for real-time news and information on the most competitive races across the country. Campaign Pro further cements POLITICO’s dominance in coverage of politics and elections, allowing for deeper reporting on exponentially more races with even more detail and data.”
With Schultheis’s departure, three of the four reporters listed in the Campaign Pro press release no longer work for the Rosslyn-based outfit: Reid J. Epstein left for the Wall Street Journal, and Juana Summers went to NPR. Those are good employers with high visibility, so it’s wise not to read too much into this set of circumstances.
That said, Politico may have to get used to high turnover in this area, or perhaps slide junior reporters onto the Campaign Pro team. Campaign coverage is a populist pursuit with high psychic rewards in terms of exposure and Internet traffic — especially when compared to other Pro “verticals” such as health care, transportation and the like. Plus, key sources in campaign coverage generally like to leak stuff to outlets where their opposition research or other goodies get big play. Paywalls don’t help on that front.
Says a former Politico staffer: “It’s hard to go from out front to behind the paywall — and especially there [at Politico], where the prestige is built into being on the top of the homepage.”
An e-mail to Politico on this dynamic went unanswered. Schulteis declined to comment.