VandeHarris: More Thoughts, Analysis, Updates

We’ve gotten lots of tips and heard lots of things regarding VandeHarris…everything from “capleader: floor wax or dessert topping?” to “Beyond VandeHarris-gate, there is more news from Capitol Leader/Albritton coming soon. Stay tuned…”

We’ve learned how much Albritton offered VandeHarris to leave the Post and, while we’re not about to start getting in the business of revealing the salaries of DC journos, we will say this: Albritton’s most definitely not messin’ around (although Jack Shafer makes a good point: The high salaries can easily be justified by the great free buzz, marketing and publicity they’ve gotten out of that hire).

A few more thoughts…

  • What will the salaries being offered by Capitol Leader / VandeHarris / Albritton / whatever-we’re supposed-to-call-it-now do to the DC journalism market? Could this lead to a bidding war between
    VandeHarris and the Post? Will places like The Hill and Roll Call be forced to pony up some more dollars to keep (and recruit) top talent? Could this be a great thing for DC journos and their pocketbooks and a bad thing for the bank accounts of news organizations everywhere?

  • Will this, as Jack Shafer said, make other websites realize how valuable their employees are?

  • Who is the Post going after to replace VandeHarris? Are they going after, as some people say, a certain LA Times reporter and a certain Hotline somebody? A certain Time reporter and a couple of Roll Call-ers?

  • And the big question on lots of minds is, obviously, what will become of Cillizza?

    Now, here’s one of the more interesting developments to come out of this: What will become of Editor-in-chief Marty Tolchin? After the VandeHarris deal, it was announced that John Harris would become the editor-in-chief and Jim VandeHei would become executive managing editor.

    More when you click below…

    Tolchin wasn’t at the Capitol Leader’s offices in Rosslyn Monday when all the big news broke and we hear that he was happy, but shocked, at the announcement.

    Tolchin tried luring VandeHei away from the Post way back in September over lunch but VandeHei passed. It wasn’t until VandeHei hooked up with Tolchin’s boss that magic was made.

    Tolchin only signed up to Capitol Leader for a year and a half and he certainly never could have imagined that the project he signed on for would turn into what it has become, for better or for worse. And, in a move that very easily could have hurt his ego, he wasn’t asked for his opinion on it either. Tolchin’s entire vision for the paper has changed and he’s been relatively powerless about it. And he can’t be happy about the fact that, after sweating and toiling over this paper for two months — doing the hiring, the planning, the budget, the designing, creating the vision, etc., etc. — virtually no news article mentioned him in their VandeHarris stories. Within 24 hours, Tolchin’s baby had been stolen from him.

    So how long he’ll stay on is anybody’s guess…Then again, the good money says that if he wanted to leave, he probably would have done so already.

    But remember: Marty is the only one at Capitol Leader who has actually started a paper, so they might want to keep him around…

    And if Marty doesn’t leave, how does this affect Bruce Drake, who more than likely assumed that, once Marty left, he’d be the natural choice to become EIC. That’s not about to happen now that VandeHarris are on the masthead…