POLITICO’s Rick Berke Emails Staff: ‘I have resigned as Executive Editor’

In an email to staff Sunday evening and after less than a year at the Rosslyn-based political news outlet, Rick Berke has resigned as executive editor of POLITICO.

“While our overarching goals are similar, Jim, John and I have agreed to disagree over the strategy for achieving those goals,” wrote Berke, referring to POLITICO president and CEO Jim VandeHei and editor in chief John Harris. “There is no acrimony and no drama – simply an acceptance by the three of us that the dynamics were just not there for us to function seamlessly.”

After highlighting accomplishments during his tenure, Burke went on to add that, “I saw a clear path to help them take Politico to the next level, but as time went on, it became clear that our strategies were diverging.”

Berke’s departure as executive editor comes five weeks after Rachel Smolkin, former managing editor for news of POLITICO, left to join CNN as executive editor of CNN Politics Digital.

See Berke’s full note to staff after the jump.

From: Rick Berke <RBerke@politico.com>
Date: September 7, 2014 at 6:09:52 PM EDT
To: TP-Staff <staff@politico.com>
Subject: Note to Politico staff

To The Staff:

I have resigned as Executive Editor of Politico. While our overarching goals are similar, Jim, John and I have agreed to disagree over the strategy for achieving those goals. There is no acrimony and no drama – simply an acceptance by the three of us that the dynamics were just not there for us to function seamlessly.

I look back with enormous pride over what we have all accomplished, even in a short time. Day by day, hour by hour, we made our stories sharper and more engaging. We raised our ambitions with tough-minded projects such as “Hillary Clinton’s Shadow Campaign” and “The Obama Paradox,” and by leveraging our policy reporters across federal agencies, we produced high-impact pieces like our examination of Obama’s use of executive authority. We formed a polling partnership that enabled Politico to analyze more deeply the issues that drive the most competitive House and Senate races. We added more polish, graphics and ambition to our video operation. We created our first annual Politico Journalism Institute this summer, which was a huge success and a promising start at encouraging diversity in newsrooms.

It is difficult to express how much admiration I have for you as journalists and colleagues. I was inspired every day by your competitive drive, vast knowledge, creative ideas and relentlessness to dig deeper and reach higher. And I could not be more impressed with the journalistic force that John, Jim and Robert Allbritton have created. I saw a clear path to help them take Politico to the next level, but as time went on, it became clear that our strategies were diverging. I will root for them and for all of you.

Rick