A Memo of ‘Mixed Emotions’

Senior VP and Editorial Director of CQ Roll Call Mike Mills sent out this internal memo this afternoon announcing the retirement of CQ Associate Editor Martha Angle. Angle, who worked for the Washington Star and was the lead reporter on the Senate Watergate hearings, has been with the company for 30 years. The memo refers to her as one of the “sharpest, toughest and most dedicated newsroom leaders.” They also call her the “story doctor.”

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To All:

It is with a mixture of emotions that I announce the retirement of Martha Angle, who is leaving the company after 30 years, effective April 15. Martha, whose current title is CQ associate editor, has served with distinction as one of our sharpest, toughest and most dedicated newsroom leaders. It’s difficult to summarize Martha’s impact on CQ over the past several decades: She is a consummate line editor, story doctor and coordinator of our breaking news coverage. Her uncompromising dedication to getting it right and getting it out to our readers quickly, her sharp wit and the example she set for generations of CQ reporters and editors along the way are just a few of the things we’ll miss. Martha edited the first story I ever wrote for the CQ Weekly Report (as it was called then) when I arrived as an intern in 1988. She helped me, and all such novices of legislative reporting, gain crucial institutional knowledge, experience and confidence. We yearned to live up to her exacting standards for how to report and write the perfect legislative action story or policy analysis think piece. Today, a number of veteran Washington reporters and editors who started at CQ credit Martha with helping them build the foundation for their successful careers.

Prior to arriving at CQ in 1981, Martha was a reporter for 13 years for the now-defunct Washington Star, where she covered Prince Georges County news, the Maryland legislature and Congress. She was the Star’s lead reporter on the Senate Watergate hearings, and also covered the Nixon impeachment proceedings in the House. She left the Star in 1977 to join her husband, journalist Robert Walters, in writing a six-days-per-week syndicated column for the United Media syndicate. In her one and only foray across the great divide between journalism and politics, she served as deputy press secretary during the 1979-80 presidential campaign of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.

Over the years at CQ, Martha was an assistant managing editor of the CQ Weekly, an editor specializing in health care, the Supreme Court and domestic policy issues, a daily news editor, an editor for the CQ Almanac and Politics in America books and our first breaking-news editor. In 2006, Martha received the first annual Poynter Award from Congressional Quarterly, awarded  to exceptional  longtime CQ employees.

Martha had been considering retiring for at least a couple years, but generously agreed to delay her departure after The Economist Group bought CQ in 2009, when she realized how important it was to ensure that the best of CQ’s culture and values continued on with the newly merged CQ Roll Call. And, as we all know, she has anything but a retiring nature. Martha has graciously agreed to serve as a freelance editor on occasion. In the meantime, we have two more months with her, time which we will relish as we plan an appropriately fabulous send-off to see her into the next phase of her inspiring life and career.