WaPo’s Internal Memo on Kurtz’s Departure

Key words/phrases: Superhuman, straight-shooter, endless well, and indispensable authority. At the end of the letter they discuss qualities his replacement ought to have…

The memo to staff:

It’s with great sadness that we announce Howie Kurtz is leaving The
Washington Post to head the Washington bureau of The Daily Beast.
Throughout his 29 years at The Post, Howie has taught us all how the medium
is the message, marshalling [sic] fresh evidence not just daily but hourly about
the powerhouses, personalities and opinion-shapers of the media world.
Applying  intelligence, creativity and an endless well of sources,  Howie
single-handedly has defined this huge sector, whether he was communicating
in newsprint, in books, online or on television. His Media Notes franchise
has become the indispensable authority on the players and companies in the
center, by definition, of the national debate.

“Coverage” does not quite capture what he has delivered for the Washington
Post and its readers. Like the best reporters ever to have owned a beat,
Howie has treated the subject matter expansively. He covered not just
journalists but the folks in the political sphere who try to steer the
conversation–White House press secretaries, campaign strategists, gossip
bloggers, late-night talk-show hosts. All the while, he has become known as
a straight-shooter by every anchor and editor and reporter who has been on
the other end of his inquiries. He bravely covered the very organization he
has called home and won the respect and independence that can only come
with consistently solid and fair reporting. His energy is beyond
exemplary–it’s superhuman.

With Howie’s departure we will begin searching for his replacement ,
looking for someone who can be a commanding authority on the media. We’re
seeking alively [sic], nuanced writer with drive and enthusiasm, and the
ability to keep ahead of the changing media world and its impact on

Ned Martel    Marcus Brauchli            Liz Spayd