New ‘Yeas & Nays’ Columnist Abruptly Quits

Something fishy is going on over at Red Alert Politics.

On Sept. 10, just eight days ago, Francesca Chambers, editor of the site, wrote FishbowlDC about Nikki Schwab’s replacement at Yeas & Nays. She said Nicholas Ballasy would be replacing Schwab, now at U.S. News & World Report.

Strangely, Ballasy, whom Chambers raved about in an enthusiastic memo, was supposed to start Sept. 13. But his work is still nowhere to be found on the site. An introductory blurb announcing his hire (pictured after the jump) is still on the site at the timing of this posting. But…BREAKING NEWS: Ballasy abruptly quit Tuesday after having “issues” with Chambers, FishbowlDC has learned.

“Nick Ballasy is the new Yeas and Nays columnist,” Chambers wrote FishbowlDC on Sept. 10. “He starts full time on Friday.” Only he never started Friday.

Ballasy was apparently traveling with his wife in Europe, hence an alleged delayed start date. His Twitter account and personal website make no mention of his new gig at Red Alert Politics. His Twitter has been on mute since Sept. 6.

Meanwhile, Ballasy takes his angst out on FishbowlDC, writing me today, saying, “I never officially signed on as the ‘Yeas & Nays’ columnist at Red Alert Politics. As usual, Fishbowl’s assertions  about me are inaccurate.” (Hey Ballasy, you may want to inform Red Alert Politics you don’t work there because there appears to be some grand confusion. See the aforementioned announcement after the jump or here.)

Email and phone requests for comment to Chambers have all gone unreturned. In what appears to be an internal memo, Chambers explains on Sept. 10 how Ballasy came to be the new Yeas & Nays columnist. After remarking on how much they’ll miss Scwhab’s “rockin’ bangs around the office,” she writes,

“Nikki’s departure also offered us the opportunity to bring Nick Ballasy (PJ News, The Daily Caller) onto our team. We had been looking for a way to bring Nick on board, but had no positions currently available. When we began inquiring to fellow DC journos about a possible new ‘Yeas’ columnist, one name repeatedly came up: Nick. So, the timing worked out perfectly. Nick will be starting full time at ‘Yeas’ on Friday, Sept. 13. He had this to say about the new gig: “In keeping with the blog’s ‘People, Power, Politics’ theme, I look forward to delivering fresh celebrity and
political news content to our readers inside and outside of the Beltway,” said Nick. Added Chambers, “Given Red Alert’s national audience, we’ve tried to move the column away from DC gossip/inside the beltway news and toward political entertainment news since moving the column to Red Alert from The Washington Examiner. In that same sentiment Nick said he plans to add more of a ‘political twist’ to the column. We’re excited to see what he has in store for our readers.”