WaPo brass announced a slew of beat changes and a few open positions for their National team today. The shuffle is well summarized in the memo below:
“We are pleased to announce several staff moves that will enhance our coverage of Congress and the White House as we head into the postelection future.
Shailagh Murray, one of this town’s keenest observers of the legislative process, will remain anchored on the Hill but take on a new role that focuses more broadly on the political dynamic between the White House and Congress. She will pay special attention to the relationship between Democrats and the president as their party regroups for 2012. Shailagh’s sophisticated understanding of politics and policy will help us chart how a divided government confronts the great economic challenges that are sure to be themes of the next campaign.
Paul Kane, who has an encyclopedic knowledge of Congress and its members, will lead our coverage of the new GOP House majority. Paul is one of the most respected correspondents on Capitol Hill. And his deep experience and sourcing will help us aggressively and authoritatively chronicle the biggest congressional power shift since 1948.
Phil Rucker, one of our most versatile writers, will bring his energy and eye to the Capitol, capturing the spectacles, dramas and small tales that animate Congress. Whether covering the news on the Senate floor or illuminating the hallway chit-chat, he will help bring to life the institution and its characters.
David Fahrenthold, a graceful writer known for decoding complex subjects, will leave the environmental beat for the challenge of making Congress accessible. He will help explain the institution’s rules, rhythms, people and legislation—whether drawing portraits or distilling complicated policy debates.
Felicia Sonmez, one of our sparkling new talents, will anchor a congressional blog aimed at breaking news and housing all that is hot and relevant in Congress. She and fellow Deputy Fix Aaron Blake had splendid runs as campaign bloggers under The Fix banner. This new blog, to which others will contribute, will provide quick, fun, edgy takes that drive the Capitol Hill conversation. PostPolitics Managing Editor Chris Cillizza will post a separate note seeking a successor to Felicia.
On the White House beat, Perry Bacon will take on a new role: following the president. He will be the reporter who most closely tracks the president’s movements, traveling with him often and mining the daily schedule for newsy developments, features, analyses and surprises. Perry is an astute analyst of the political landscape and will bring a fresh voice to the second phase of the Obama presidency.
His arrival will create more room for ace correspondents Scott Wilson and Anne Kornblut to drill deeper into White House decisionmaking and presidential relationships, to unearth news and mount significant enterprise that will help readers better understand the man in the Oval Office.
We are adding to our White House team a fourth player whose charge will also be to discover the undiscovered. There will be a separate posting for that assignment. ”
Kevin Marilyn Wes Steven