Conservative news outlets around Washington may want to chain their top reporters down to their desks these days, as Breitbart.com is moving in on their territory. Reporters from a number of publications such as The Daily Caller and The Washington Times are receiving enticing offers, with some scribes seeing their salaries increased by as much as $25k with yearly bonuses of $5k. Breitbart.com will provide full benefits starting in February. Until then, they’re offering a reimbursement plan.
But there’s a catch. Sources tell FishbowlDC the would-be hires are being asked to sign four-year contracts. To his credit, Steve Bannon, who is heading up the hiring process in Washington, is succeeding despite rubbing some the wrong way. Some who have dealt with him say he tells you what he needs to and skimps on the truth. So far, however, he has snagged The Daily Caller‘s ever controversial Matthew Boyle and over the weekend TWT’s Kerry Picket announced on Twitter that she is going to work for Breitbart.com as an investigative reporter.
Reporters around town being wooed for Breitbart.com include: Katie Pavlich of Townhall, Lachlan Markay of Heritage, Charlie Spiering of the Washington Examiner, Caroline May of The Daily Caller and Daniel Halper at The Weekly Standard.
Some have described a cultish feel to the process, with phrases such as “This is the way Andrew would have wanted it” being bandied about in conversation. But some in conservative media circles aren’t taking any of this all that well. “I predict this cast of misfits once fully assembled are now going to walk around events in DC slinging their cocks around like they’re the new cool kids,” said one scribe. And another: “They look like a bunch of a folk that were rejected from working at BuzzFeed, who was like, ‘Can they post cat pics?’ And then said, ‘nevermind’ to hiring them.”
Picket, a well-known conservative reporter who wrote TWT‘s The Water Cooler blog, is well regarded within Washington’s media…
“This is a smart move for Breitbart News and a huge blow to the Washington Times. There is no other way to spin it,” said former TWT editorial page editor Brett Decker, who was Picket’s boss from 2009 until last month. “Kerry’s online reporting generates millions of pageviews a year. During my last days at the newspaper, she had about 1 million pageviews for a single post.”
We reached out to Bannon for comment.