Washington Examiner Adds Gossip Columnist

Washington Examiner‘s Nikki Schwab is now on her third gossip partner in the two years since Tara Palmeri left for the New York Post. First there was Katy Adams. Next up: Jenny Rogers, formerly of TBD, who lasted a year. Now the Examiner has named a new co-columnist — it’s The Hill‘s Alicia Cohn, who contributed to that publication’s gossip column, “In the Know,” and managed content for the social media blog. We hear The Daily Caller‘s pretty aggressive Nick Ballasy was up for the job, but didn’t want to take orders from Schwab so he backed out.

It’s anyone’s guess what kind of co-columnist Cohn will be as her previous appeared in publications such as US WEEKLY and Human Events. She also interned for Christianity Today. She graduated from Wheaton College in Illinois, a Christian college where drinking, smoking, pornography and sex are taboo and where evolutionary biology is now accepted, but this wasn’t always true. Famous graduates include Billy Graham and former House Speaker Dennis Hastert. In 2003 the college eased its ban on dancing. They also let up on drinking and smoking for faculty and grad students only.

In an internal memo just out today, Editor Stephen Smith outlines three new reporters, including Cohn, and the promotion of another. Most of the new hires are recent grads whose experience consists of an array of internships.

I’m pleased to announce the addition of three reporters and the promotion of one of other:

Andy Brownfield is our new correspondent covering Annapolis and Maryland politics. He comes to us from Cincinnati CityBeat, where he wrote weekly features and daily blogs on government and other news. In 2011 and 2012 he worked as a “legislative relief reporter,” in the AP’s quaint phrasing, in Columbus and Montgomery. He chalked up more than 60 bylines from the Alabama statehouse, and in Ohio he covered everything from the 2010 elections to the escape of 56 exotic animals in Zanesville. He previously worked as an intern in the Springfield, Ill. statehouse for The State Journal-Register and at his hometown Cincinnati Business Courier. Andy is a graduate of Ohio University and earned a master’s in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois.

Joining Alan Blinder at City Hall is Eric P. Newcomer, who began newspapering as an intern at his hometown Macon Telegraph. He then served successive internships at the Sun Sentinel (where he did hardship duty in Palm Beach County), Tampa Bay Times, and New York Times, where he managed to get 25 stories in the paper as a James Reston Reporting Fellow. Eric is a graduate of Harvard, where he majored in philosophy and published nearly 150 stories in the Crimson over five semesters before spending a year as the paper’s associate managing editor.

The new Yea in the Yeas & Nay team is Alicia M. Cohn. She is currently a staff writer at The Hill, reporting for the newspaper, writing a half dozen blog posts every day, managing content for The Hill’s social media blog, and contributing to the gossip column. Before that she worked as a freelance writer, doing everything from movie reviews for World magazine to celebrity pieces for Us Weekly to reports on New York City government for Human Events. She also served as an intern at Christianity Today and at OakTara Publishers in Waterford, Virginia. She grew up in the Kansas City area and graduated from Wheaton College in Illinois, where she majored in media studies and served as features editor of the Wheaton Record. She begins here on February 4.

Rachel Baye, who has been covering Montgomery County, is promoted to education writer. Recently she has been doing some reporting out of Annapolis, but schools were her first love so this is a great fit. Rachel is a graduate of Penn, where she was executive editor of the Daily Pennsylvanian.

Please join me in offering welcomes and congratulations.

Cheers, Steve