Last night’s Virginia primary upset was met with great editorial pride inside the walls of Roll Call according to an email to staff from Editor in Chief Christina Bellantoni. While proofreading today’s issue, politics editor Shira Center flagged data pointing toward a loss by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to Tea Party challenger Dave Brat.
This prompted editors to blow through their print deadline, thus publishing the front page headline “Stunner” and a lead story on the Cantor loss.
Check out the full email, after the jump.
From: Christina Bellantoni
Just a quick note to draw attention to Roll Call’s terrific work on the Cantor story. This was another example of how our team gracefully comes together, and even has a little bit of fun.
The editors were proofing the last pages around 7:35 or so when Shira flagged what her politics team was noticing — Cantor might lose. I was really doubtful, there’s just no way that can happen, and there are so few surprises in politics anymore. But as we looked at the data we realized that it seemed pretty clearly to actually be happening, and either way, it was enough of a story it was worth blowing deadline and shredding the paper.The entire crew sprang into action. Chris redesigned the front page, using a nice shot of Cantor Tom had grabbed just that morning at the stakeout. Steve and David jumped in to edit and post all of the stories coming from the leadership team, while Team Politics kept up with stories and insta-analysis and monitored the other elections happening.
I’m pretty sure we were the first out with an alert, just beating Fox and Politico and coming out way ahead of the major outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post and CNN. More importantly, our stories were solid, with angles that demonstrate our deep understanding of both elections and what’s happening inside the Capitol, and pieces that demonstrate our dedication. Yes, Humberto staked out Alberto’s to try and nab Boehner.
Rieger had a great video ready within minutes, and even helped me get situated for a live hit on MSNBC. Shana started pitching, and quickly had a bunch of bookings locked in with major television and radio outlets.
Cameron kept the home page fresh and Cyra kept up with the zillions of tweets flooding in, while also making sure our new pages were accurate and interesting. Jason and I pulled together all of the feeds that weaved in analysis from David Hawkings and Dan, behind-the-scenes details from Kyle, a gauntlet thrown by Huelskamp from Matt, and the list goes on and on.
What’s more, the eyes of the world are on Roll Call right now. We can own this story. Each post we put up (at least a dozen, by my count) included links to our archives, and all of those older stories are getting a ton of organic traffic from people suddenly interested and eager to learn more. We’ve got them covered.
I am incredibly proud of our team. Thanks to everyone for your efforts and hard work.