Secret Details Emerge on Politico Project

Insider details are emerging about Politico’s POLITICO PRO, which has so far been a relatively closely guarded project for the famously self-promotional company. Policy isn’t sexy. But amongst top brass at a number of publications around Washington it is viewed as a huge growth area in D.C. journalism.

Sources with first-hand knowledge tell FishbowlDC that Politico does not see Bloomberg News’s BGOV as a competitor and that, in fact, the two companies late last year discussed working together. Politico is selling its new product as reporting on policies, politics and personalities; BGOV is selling its product as more of a data service and analytical tool for investors.

Politico unveils POLITICO PRO next week.

Staff was briefed yesterday. FishbowlDC has learned specifics that higher-ups don’t want rolled out yet. 1. The project has more than doubled its early projections for subscribers. 2. We hear the number is several hundred, and soon will top 1000 – lots of Hill and agency officials and staffers. 3. General Electric has signed on as launch sponsor for all three new subscription sites: energy, health care and technology.

In more competitive details, Politico has hired 29 new editorial writers and editors, more than NJ had for its site-wide relaunch, and more reporters than BGOV has brought aboard for its product. Update: Bloomberg PR disputes this. Read about it after the jump…All are anticipated to hire more reporters. Washingtonian is set to run a big piece on this new, hyper-competitive market as early as next issue.

NJ Communications Director Taylor West downplayed the heightened competition factor among the publications as did a Bloomberg spokeswoman. See their quotes after the jump… Also see a full internal list of the Politico Pro staffWest: “National Journal has a well-established reputation for providing in-depth reporting and analysis on politics and policy for its subscribers.  Our reporters and editors are steeped in the issue areas they cover and are regarded as experts in their fields.  Politico does good work and is an aggressive news organization, but we can’t really comment on their new paid service because we haven’t really had a chance to see it or evaluate it.

As for BGov, Bloomberg does good data analysis in the business field and will likely do the same at BGov, analyzing the impact of policy on business.  There is a lot of information – and a lot of information needs – swirling around Washington, so there is room for a variety of news outlets that serve customers in different ways.”

A Bloomberg Spokeswoman remarked, “We don’t view the products or organizations as competitors.”

But later, four and a half hours past my deadline, Bloomberg suddenly had a lot more to say. After several emails with a variety of numbers, Bloomberg publicist Sarah Feinberg offered this ultimate breakdown of numbers but refused to name the reporters, saying she would have to get permission from each reporter for the person’s name to be released — a practice that is unheard of in Washington journalism.

The breakdown:

71 new hires as journalists.
4 internal transfers.
40 new hires as analysts.

PoliticoPro Staff

Tim Grieve is the editor-in-chief of POLITICOPro. He was previously a deputy managing editor for POLITICO, where he ran the site’s congressional coverage.  Before joining POLITICO in early 2008, Grieve was a senior writer at Salon, a reporter at The Sacramento Bee and a lawyer in California.

Energy Editor Dan Berman was the editor of E&E Publishing’s Environment & Energy Daily before joining POLITICO in 2010 as a policy and breaking news editor. Deputy Energy Editor Bob King is an award-winning reporter and editor who spent 17 years on the environmental beat in Florida, mainly at The Palm Beach Post, before joining the Pro team. Senior Energy and Environment Reporter Darren Samuelsohn came to POLITICO Pro after nearly a decade dominating his beat at E&E Publishing’s Greenwire and E&E Daily. Reporter Darren Goode has more than 10 years of experience covering energy and environmental issues for publications including CongressDaily and National Journal. Reporter Robin Bravender covered climate policy and the EPA for E&E Publishing before joining POLITICOPro. Reporter Darius Dixon comes to POLITICOPro from E&E Publishing’s Climate Wire, where he covered energy technology. He was also an intern for Wired and a fact-checker for The Nation. Reporter Patrick Reis is a veteran of E&E Publishing’s Greenwire, where he covered the politics of coal mining, resource conflicts and the Interior Department. Reporter Josh Voorhees is the lead author of Morning Energy. He previously covered energy and transportation policy, politics and business for E&E Publishing’s Greenwire and E&E Daily.

Technology Editor Kim Hart created and wrote The Hill’s “Hillicon Valley” blog before joining POLITICOPro. Previously, she covered technology and policy for The Washington Post. Deputy Technology Editor Elizabeth Wasserman has spent two decades writing and editing for publications including Newsday, the San Jose Mercury News, the Industry Standard and CQ. Reporter Mike Zapler comes to POLITICOPro after a decade covering politics for the San Jose Mercury News, most recently as the paper’s Washington correspondent. Reporter Michelle Quinn will cover Silicon Valley for POLITICOPro.  She has covered tech issues for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and the San Jose Mercury News and most recently worked in the office of California’s attorney general. Reporter Tony Romm is the lead author of Morning Tech. Previously, he blogged on tech and other topics for The Hill. He has written for outlets including The Washington Post and Slate. Reporter Brooks Boliek is a veteran journalist who has covered nine political conventions, Congress, the White House, the FCC, K Street and Silicon Valley, among other beats.
Reporter Eliza Krigman joins POLITICOPro after covering technology and other policy issues for the National Journal, where she was the principal writer for the Tech Daily Dose blog. Reporter David Hansen has more than a decade of experience covering politics and tech issues in Washington, most recently as associate managing editor of Washington Internet Daily. Reporter Jennifer Martinez is a POLITICO fellow. She has written for the Tribune Washington Bureau, The Wall Street Journal and the blog GigaOM.

Health Care Editor Diane Webber has been a reporter and editor for newspapers and magazines for 20 years. Before coming to POLITICOPro, she was a senior editor at Currents magazine. Deputy Health Care Editor Charles Hoskinson was previously a senior editor for POLITICO’s website. Before that, he was a real-time news editor for Congressional Quarterly. Senior Health Care Reporter David Nather has covered Congress for more than 15 years, including nearly a decade at CQ. He’s the author of two books on the health care reform law – including one co-written with former Sen. Tom Daschle. Reporter Brett Coughlin is an award-winning journalist who has covered federal public health legislation since 1999, focusing on Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement. Reporter J. Lester Feder has covered health, religion and the environment for publications including Newsweek and Slate, and served as Web editor for Reporter Jennifer Haberkorn co-writes Pulse. She has reported on health care reform since 2009. Previously, she covered Congress for The Washington Times. Reporter Sarah Kliff also co-writes Pulse. Before joining POLITICO, she was a staff writer at Newsweek, where she covered issues at the intersection of health and politics. Reporter Kate Nocera comes to POLITICOPro from the New York Daily News, where she was a cops and crime reporter.


LaRonda Peterson is the production editor for POLITICOPro. Prior to joining Pro, she made a career switch from law to journalism and has worked at Newsday, the Orlando Sentinel and, most recently, as an editor on POLITICO’s copy desk. Copy editor Abby McIntyre was previously in charge of coordinating POLITICO’s morning newsletters. Before arriving at POLITICO, she held copy-editing internships at The Boston Globe, The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch and USA Today. Web producer Alex Guillén graduated in 2010 from the College of William and Mary, where he was the news editor and online editor of The Flat Hat, the college’s award-winning student newspaper.

Web producer Brittany Hackett worked previously with the Advisory Board Co.’s news division, tracking U.S. health policy and trends, with a focus on women’s reproductive health. Web producer Julia Haslanger served as an online and multimedia editing intern for McClatchy’s Washington bureau and has worked as a copy editor and designer at the Steamboat Pilot & Today in Steamboat Springs, Colo. Web producer Jess Kamen attended Georgetown University’s graduate program in journalism and previously worked as a freelance writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer.