As some may recall, Politico saved David Chalian’s ass after his messy hot-mic comment and subsequent firing from Yahoo! News as their Washington Bureau Chief. During the August, 2012 incident for an online ABC News/Yahoo! broadcast, he joked that Republican convention officials didn’t care about African Americans coping with Hurricane Isaac. “They’re not concerned at all,” he said in jest. “They’re happy to have a party with black people drowning.”
And now, after working at Politico for just nine months as their video guru (Veep of Video Programming), he’s leaving, returning to his “roots” at broadcast news. No new job noted, but we’re sure it’ll soon emerge.
What’s fishy is not that he’s leaving — people come to and leave jobs in journalism with swiftness — but rather the super duper upbeat tone of the memo. If everything’s so fantastic, why’s he out of there so fast? And where’s the gratitude? Couldn’t he have stuck it out a year?
As a Politico insider told us, “The stats in this note are deceptive. 45% up from what? Video views are horrible on Politico. You need only look at whether they’re tweeted or Facebooked. Very seldom – because they’re so amateurish and such vanity vehicles for the select few. A 44 percent spike is actually pathetic when you’re making 50 times as much content. This is what Politico would call out in politicians as bad spin.”
See the memo to the “gang” over at Politico…
I wanted to give you a heads-up that David Chalian is leaving us this month. He is eager to get back to his journalistic roots and pursue opportunities at broadcast news operations.
David has been instrumental in creating and implementing our new original video programs and building out our online video operation. He has our gratitude for the great work he has done.
Thankfully, David leaves us with our video strategy in full motion. The team has been cranking out more than 100 videos a week, many of them new programs like Behind the Curtain, POLITICO Junkies and This Week in Congress. We’ve also seen record traffic in recent months. In April, for example, we saw a 45% increase in video views compared to the same month in 2012.
Those who worked closely with David on all video efforts will take on expanded roles as we continue to beef up our video squad and roll out new video features.
More on that in the weeks to come…