Policy Coverage Tilts to Politico

It’s never a good sign when someone in charge of an effort leaves. On Friday BGOV’s balloon appeared to deflate as Bloomberg’s Chris Walters left the news outlet to be Chief Operating Officer for the Weather Channel. He joined Bloomberg in 2008.

Meanwhile, today Politico announced the launch of Politico Pro-Transportation and Infrastructure next month. The initiative promises to produce “minute to minute human intelligence” on these issues. Brass says more surprises are on the way, meaning more coverage and purportedly more hires.

In an internal memo to staff from Executive Editor Jim VandeHei writes, “That’s not the kind of news most publications are making these days; the storyline is usually about cutbacks or layoffs or buyouts. But we’re bullish on growing POLITICO, both our core publication and PRO.” In the note he spells out why he thinks Pro has been successful. Also see the note from Politico Pro Editor Tim Grieve to subscribers in which he says anyone who cares about the industry reads their product…

We’ve reached out to Bloomberg for more details on what they have in store…Update: Don Baptiste took over BGOV six months ago. Walters still oversaw the whole operation.

See the full memo…

We’re announcing some big moves today — the launch of POLITICO Pro-Transportation and Infrastructure next month and, as Tim Grieve hints in the press release going out today, more coverage areas and more hires coming soon.

That’s not the kind of news most publications are making these days; the storyline is usually about cutbacks or layoffs or buyouts. But we’re bullish on growing POLITICO, both our core publication and PRO, and we want to share with you one of the reasons why.

A big one is the success Pro has had so far. We set high editorial standards, and we achieved them. We set big goals for Pro’s first-year sales, and we beat them.  We set big goals for Pro’s first-year renewal numbers, and we’re beating those, too. Readers want the kind of journalism Pro produces — fast-moving, decisive POLITICO-style journalism applied to the specific policy areas that interest them most.  Because of this success, POLITICO has the most reporters working the most important policy areas in Washington – and all our readers benefit from this when we turn to the PRO team to write for our broader audience on energy, health care and technology matters.

And the question we hear most from our existing readers and subscribers is “When will you cover more?” So we’ll cover more, and Transportation and Infrastructure is the logical next step. Adam Snider and Burgess Everett have paved the way for us with strong work on Morning Transportation. With focused reporting on Capitol Hill, they’ve made Morning Transportation a must read in the sector almost overnight. Its subscribers are a veritable who’s who in the transportation world — from the highest levels of the Obama administration and the most senior members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to leading lobbyists, interest groups and others immersed in the issue.

And now we’re building a team around them. Kathy Wolfe joins us today from CQ, where she was the lead transportation and infrastructure reporter and the editor of CQ’s Executive Briefing on the subject. Kathy is an aggressive and well-sourced reporter, and she’s got a legion of fans among the CQ alums already at POLITICO.  We’re very excited to have her on board as our senior transportation and infrastructure reporter. And later this month, we’ll be joined by Eric Nelson, a veteran Dallas Morning News editor who will be the editor of the transportation and infrastructure team. Eric is a really talented editor, but it’s his record as a leader that attracted us most; he’s known in Dallas as a real reporter’s editor, the kind of colleague who makes everyone’s stories better and jobs more fun. We’ll have more hires to announce soon — both on the reporting side and the production side.

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