Roll Call Has Interim Editor: ‘The News Will Not Pause’ Says Internal Memo

An interim editor has been named for Roll Call. Mike Mills, Editorial Director of CQ-Roll, in an internal memo to staff details why Scott Montgomery, CQ-Roll Call’s Director of Consumer Publishing is the ideal choice at this time. Roll Call Editor Charlie Mitchell resigned last week under clearly strained circumstances as a distraught staff did not want to see him go. Mills told FishbowlDC last week that he wants to replace Mitchell with someone from “the outside” who could help him achieve the publication’s goals.

The memo:

I’m pleased to announce that Scott Montgomery, CQ-Roll Call’s Director of Consumer Publishing, will assume the role of Editor of Roll Call on an interim basis. He begins immediately and will remain in this capacity until I conclude the search for a more permanent replacement.

Scott is an ideal person to oversee the transition to a new Editor. He is a top-flight journalist who has experience leading teams of reporters and editors. In the 15 months since he arrived to lead the newly combined CQ-Roll Call politics team and, he has worked closely with many of the editors, reporters and producers who publish Roll Call every day, in print and online. We’re fortunate to have someone with Scott’s blend of credentials so close at hand. Before he came back to Washington last summer to develop our free publishing strategy, Scott was the Government & Politics Editor for the St. Petersburg Times, where he ran their coverage in the statehouse and in Washington. How’d it go? Not so well for the Florida Speaker of the House, who — following a series of investigative pieces under Scott’s direction in the Tallahassee Bureau — was indicted, removed from office and now awaits trial on criminal charges. At the very same time, Scott was leading the paper’s national team that created, which won the Pulitzer Prize in National Reporting for coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign. He has been an editor or reporter in daily journalism for more than 20 years, including a few good years at Congressional Quarterly, where he was Managing Editor of CQ Weekly.

I’m trusting Scott with this important job at this delicate time for reasons beyond his strong resume. On a personal level, Scott is approachable and even-handed. He won’t rattle and you can speak frankly with him. The news will not pause for us as we begin the transition to a new Editor and neither will we. I couldn’t be more pleased to have someone with Scott’s journalistic chops guiding this transition.