When given the choice between loud and feisty or a big-name media outlet, the White House Press Corps went with a resounding nod for the former.
April Ryan, who works for American Urban Radio, was elected Friday to the White House Correspondents Association Board as was McLatchy‘s Senior White House Correspondent Steve Thomma. Among the choices were Ryan, Thomma, Sirius XM Radio’s Jared Rizzi and Bloomberg‘s Julianna Goldman. But the real dogfight was Ryan versus Goldman.
Word on the street is that reporters wanted a fighter. They also didn’t want to risk a Bloomberg board member just looking out for Bloomberg. “April’s tough as nails, and really knows her stuff,” said Mediaite‘s White House reporter Tommy Christopher. “She’ll do a great job. And what a great way to kick off Obama’s second term.”
Ryan is certainly no wimp. Some may recall that in December of 2009, former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told her to “calm down” and “take a deep breath” after she pressed him on whether then-Social Secretary Desiree Rogers had overstepped appropriate protocol in the Salahi party crashing incident. Gibbs equated the reporter’s behavior with that of his young son. April snapped back, “Don’t play with me.”
A White House reporter who spoke on the condition of anonymity gave us the lowdown on the race, saying, “April worked really hard on that race, she put a lot into it. Julianna ran a strong race, too, and as charming and well-respected she is, in the end she couldn’t overcome the Bloomberg curse. And Jared was just too new to the White House to make a serious dent in the race.”
A note on the curse: Some may recall that Bloomberg reporter Hans Nichols ran for the board last year and lost badly to then-Politico reporter Carol Lee, who now works for WSJ. At the time there was a sour taste among the Press Corps as publications such as Bloomberg, WSJ and Politico all signed up journos as White House reporters for voting purposes. Some charged dirty campaigning.
See the complete listing of officers and WHCA board members after the jump…
WHCA OFFICERS 2011-12
President: Caren Bohan, Reuters
Vice President: Ed Henry, Fox
Secretary: Julie Mason, Politico
Treasurer: Don Gonyea, NPR
BOARD MEMBERS 2011-12
Carol Lee, Wall Street Journal
Michael Scherer, Time
Doug Mills, New York Times
April Ryan, American Urban Radio Network
Steven Thomma, McClatchy Newspapers