AP’s Fournier Accepts NJ EIC Gig

FishbowlDC reported earlier this week that Ron Fournier, Washington bureau chief for the Associated Press was offered the role of EIC for National Journal. Sources now confirm that Fournier has accepted the job.

AP’s statement about Fournier’s departure:

“We wish Ron well in his new endeavor. He has been a strong leader of AP’s comprehensive White House and Washington coverage. Many of his contributions will be carried on by the leaders in the Washington bureau, who will continue to provide a competitive news report that is unmatched in breaking news and enterprise reporting.”

Memo from David Bradley after the jump.

My Colleagues,

Earlier today – actually minutes ago – Justin and I reached agreement with Ron Fournier, Washington Bureau Chief of the Associated Press, to join us as Editor-in-Chief of the National Journal Group. The title and position are new to the company. Ron will be the first editor responsible for all of the editorial product of the National Journal publications including the National Journal magazine, nationaljournal.com, CongressDaily, The Hotline, the Almanac of American Politics and Global Security Newswire.

Though we met only three years ago, Ron’s name has been whispered to me since my first days in Washington journalism. With genuine admiration, some of our most-talented colleagues have talked about Ron as among that small handful of the finest political reporters and editors in generations of Washington reporting. His particular gifts, unceasing focus on breaking news and original political analysis, are the first-among-equal disciplines we need to advance within our publications.

Ron has spent the better part of his career – 20 years – with the AP. Starting with a Little Rock posting, covering President Clinton’s second term as governor, moving to Washington to report on the new President, Ron has worked through the AP ranks. For the last two years, Ron has served as Washington Bureau Chief for the AP, leading a staff of over 100 writers and editors covering the national scene. I will attach a copy of Ron’s bio to this note.

In my judgment, the recruitment of Ron Fournier represents an uncompromised hire for the National Journal Group. Justin and I want to thank Charlie Green and Ron Brownstein for their leadership role in the search. Like Ron Fournier, both are extreme talent.

Today is a good start. The enterprise now addresses the recruitment of 30 new writers and editors worthy of their colleagues already here. (To date, we have received 600 applications with 200 names referred to us by the best journalists in Washington.) Our fixed intention is, as it has been throughout, to be wholly nonpartisan and manifestly the highest-end media enterprise in Washington.

Ron will arrive in our offices as soon as he completes his obligations with the AP. I hope you will join me in welcoming him.