Politico Tim Grieve’s Ears Must be Burning

Politico‘s Tim Grieve has long been a hot topic of many a conversation amongst D.C. media, particularly in his own newsroom. Is he too hard on his reporters or just hard enough? Today Washingtonian puts together a whopping article on Politico Pro that presents the question and sort of answers it. The new project led by Grieve, it says, represents the publication “growing up” and entering the policy arena. But these are the big takeaways:

1. Politico has “swagger.”

2. Politico Pro Editor Tim Grieve is either the best or worst thing that will ever happen to a reporter.

“Like his bosses, [Politico Pro Editor Grieve] struggles to define exactly what this new publication offers that makes it unique [from other Congressional policy reporting]. ‘It’s really hard to describe our products in ways that people wouldn’t use to describe their products,’ he says.

After mulling it over for a few moments, he offers a word that to him has always best described Politico’s essence: ‘Swagger.’”

Yeah, he said it: “swagger.”

What’s more, remarked Executive Editor Jim VandeHei: “Not all reporters are created equal.”

Enter Grieve:

Notorious for driving his reporters to physical exhaustion and mental breakdown and for berating those who get scooped by the competition, former employees have described Grieve as the most aggressive and unforgiving boss they’ve ever worked for; but they also say he’s one of the best. They describe his approach as bare-knuckled but say his editorial sensibilities and news judgment are superb.

FishbowlDC requested comment from Grieve. He did not respond to an email request.