POLITICO’s Rachel Smolkin to Join CNN as Executive Editor of CNN Politics Digital

Rachel SmolkinAn email to CNN staff this morning announced that POLITICO managing editor for news Rachel Smolkin is headed to the network to serve as executive editor of CNN Politics Digital. In this role, she’ll lead CNNPolitics.com across all platforms in an effort to make its work “bolder, buzzier and more essential to audiences in and outside of the beltway.”

In lieu of a press release, CNN lately has been doing a Q&A with new hires. Check it out to hear from Smolkin on the best career advice she’s ever received, what drew her to politics, and the biggest challenge of covering Washington.

Smolkin’s last day at POLITICO is slated for August 8 and will start with CNN in mid-August. Prior to POLITICO, she was an assignment editor at USA Today.

See managing editor of CNN Digital Meredith Artley’s email to staff after the jump.

From: Artley, Meredith
Sent: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 9:19 AM
To: CNN.com Staff; *CNNMoney Staff
Subject: Welcome Rachel Smolkin

Great news everyone. Rachel Smolkin is our new executive editor of CNN Politics Digital.

Rachel will lead all of our digital efforts in DC – that means CNNPolitics.com on desktop, mobile and social, directing the digital gang and the bureau at large to make our work bolder, buzzier and more essential to audiences in and outside of the beltway.

You’ll see in Andrew’s note below that Rachel has more than full support from not just the digital team proper but from him, Sam, the entire DC bureau and JZ.

Rachel joins us from Politico, where she was the managing editor for news, leading teams and shaping the stories that led their site. She also supervised beat editors and worked closely with the video and events teams. Before Politico, she was an assignment editor at USA Today (where she worked with Cathy Straight who says Rachel is whip-smart and fabulous).

Rachel reports into Ed, who deserves congratulations himself for making another great hire in his first month with us.

Please join us in welcoming Rachel. She starts mid-August.

Here’s Andrew’s note to the DC gang:

I’m writing with exciting news about our Washington Bureau. Today, I’m thrilled to announce that Rachel Smolkin will be joining us as the Executive Editor for CNN Politics Digital. Rachel joins us from Politico, where she was managing editor for news, and with her hiring, we are beginning a new era for CNN’s digital presence in Washington.

Rachel will spearhead a new effort to create a digital product in Washington to provide our audiences with more news, more context and more insight about politics than ever before. She will work closely with Sam Feist and all of our teams in the DC Bureau to harness the very best reporting from our anchors, programs, reporters and producers. Rachel will also work closely with Ed O’Keefe and Meredith Artley to build CNN Politics.com into a powerful, multi-platform destination featuring new franchises and unique ways of engaging the audience, tailor-made for digital-first political junkies. This new product will sit at the center of all of our political efforts.

As we head into the 2014 Midterm Elections and look beyond to the 2016 race, Rachel’s arrival comes at a perfect time. Please join Sam and me in welcoming her and in putting everything we have into making the new CNNPolitics.com successful.

— Andrew

And for even more on Rachel, check out this so-not-a-press-release from Dornic over in PR: http://wp.me/p1faJE-8Rf