Update: Politico’s Expansion Plans

Earlier on FishbowlDC: “Politico To Announce Expansion Tomorrow

As we told you yesterday, the New York Times has a piece up detailing the Politico’s post-2008 plans. Among the paper’s skeptics, the question has always been: “What are they going to do after the election?”

Some answers:

  • “It will expand. Politico (politico.com) is to announce on Monday that after Election Day, it will add reporters, editors, Web engineers and other employees; expand circulation of its newspaper edition in Washington; and print more often.”

  • “After the election, ‘I anticipate some dip in our audience, but for our business model, it doesn’t really matter,’ said Jim VandeHei, executive editor and co-founder of Politico. ‘We anticipate a nice surge on the revenue side.’

  • “After the election, it is to create a dedicated White House reporting team, headed by Mike Allen, its senior political reporter.”

  • “Politico’s corps of reporters and editors will grow to more than 50 from 39, and the overall staff to 105 or more, from 85.”

  • “Circulation of the printed Politico, distributed free to nearly every office on Capitol Hill, is to grow to 32,000, from about 26,000.”

    Some other things missing from the New York Times piece that we’ve learned:

  • Politico will move from publishing three times a week to four (Monday through Thursday).

  • An internal memo states: “Politico will be the only Capitol Hill publication also delivered to the White House and top officials at all the key agencies. This will require some staff expansion so let us know your thoughts on possible hires for reporting and production jobs.”

    We hear that the push for a White House team has been a big focus for Mike Allen internally and the paper may end up with ohne of the largest Hill and White House teams in the country (no doubt helped by the fact that everyone else is shrinking staffs…).

    We have the internal Politico memos after the jump…

      The past few weeks have brought some very big milestones for Politico. The conventions were a marquee moment, made possible only by the wonderful work of those who traveled to Denver and the Twin Cities and everyone who stayed behind. This weekend has been an amazing performance for our Congress team, which sometimes gets less attention than the election team but is always at the center of our most important mandate: covering the workings of Washington. We have been all over one of the most remarkable moments in recent years, as the federal government races to respond to a financial crisis. And we had a very gratifying public milestone in recent days: August was our most trafficked month ever, and we ranked 10th on Editor & Publisher’s monthly listing of highest traffic newspaper websites. Not half bad for a publication that began just 20 months ago.

      The natural question is, “What’s next?” Publisher Robert Allbritton and chief executive Fred Ryan have pushed us to think creatively and ambitiously about the answers, and this week we are announcing some of them. You can look at the attached press release for the “official” news release. We are letting folks know we will start publishing the paper four times each week (Monday through Thursday) next year. We also plan to increase circulation to 32,000 to expand our reach in the city. Starting next year, Politico will be the only Capitol Hill publication also delivered to the White House and top officials at all the key agencies. This will require some staff expansion so let us know your thoughts on possible hires for reporting and production jobs.

      We also are making public that we will go live with “Politico 44” the day after the election. This will be a new section of the site and feature several cool ways of covering the White House and will offer readers a moment-by-moment read on what’s happening with the next president. The White House team will include some familiar faces: Allen, Martin, Budoff Brown, Smith, Cummings, Javers and many others — as well as some new ones. We are just beginning the staffing process so please let us know if you have interest in this project or know other top-flight reporters who should be considered. We are also looking for at least one White House editor.

      It’s impossible to exaggerate how proud the two of us are of what the people in this newsroom have achieved, or our gratitude for the enormous work and personal sacrifice it took to make it happen. Everyone here–in all parts of the operation—is going to be involved in the “what’s next” phase of our growth, after the election now just six weeks away.

      We are poised to even greater things after Nov. 5. We plan to dominate coverage of the new Congress, the new President and the lobbying groups paid to influence both. We will increase the size of our congressional team and rollout what we think will be the largest White House reporting team in the country.

      It will take another heroic team effort to pull this off. Please send along any thoughts you might have for sharpening our publication in the months ahead. This place works best when we are feeding off your ideas and energy — so keep em’ coming. Thanks.