WaPo Reorganizes White House Team

Kevin Merida, one of WaPo‘s more adept internal memo writers, has co-authored “exciting changes” to the publication’s White House team.

His begins with high drama: “We’re marking the dawn of President Obama’s second term…”

The highlights: Scott Wilson, who won a couple of important-sounding awards last year, will be White House Bureau Chief; David Nakamura will forge on as a member of team, focusing on (yawn) immigration reform — never fear, his Pool Reports are a fun read; Philip Rucker, who covered Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, will cover Obama, gun control, and the President’s complex relationship with Congress; Felicia Sonmez, who “seems to never sleep”, will head up digital White House coverage; Zachary Goldfarb joins the team as a economic policy writer.

See the full memo…

We’re marking the dawn of President Obama’s second term with a series of
exciting changes in our White House team:

Scott Wilson will become our White House bureau chief, helping to set
priorities and strategy while continuing to write the authoritative and
path-breaking stories that have defined his tenure on the beat. Last year,
Scott won both the Gerald R. Ford Journalism Prize for distinguished
reporting on the presidency and the Aldo Beckman award from the White House
Correspondents Association. For the latter, the judges cited “his deeply
reported and nuanced stories, his evocative writing and his clear
presentation of complex issues, particularly on the foreign policy front.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

David Nakamura will continue to be a key player on our White House team,
with a special emphasis on domestic policy, including chronicling the
administration’s efforts to push forward with immigration reform. David has
expertly juggled a diverse set of assignments during his time at the White
House, from mass shootings to the 2012 campaign to Obama’s historic visit
to Burma. He is a tireless, aggressive reporter, which was demonstrated
during the scandal involving Secret Service agents and prostitutes in
Colombia.  David also provides a roadmap for how a reporter can engage
readers in substantive discussions quickly online and through social media.

Philip Rucker, just two months removed from covering Mitt Romney’s quest
for the presidency, turns his attention to the victor. Phil set himself
apart from the rest of the pack covering Romney with a limitless array of
dispatches on the often-mysterious GOP nominee. Phil’s deep sourcing came
through time and time again, from stories on the missteps that plagued the
campaign to a poignant look at Romney’s life after his election loss. We
are pleased that Phil will bring that same sharp eye, reporting skill and
writing prowess to the Obama White House, focusing particular attention on
gun control and on Obama’s complicated relationship with Congress.

The unstoppable Felicia Sonmez will become our point person for digital
coverage of the White House, a move that will make us even more
competititive throughout the day. Felicia, who doggedly covered Rep. Paul
Ryan’s vice presidential run and previously anchored our 2Chambers Capitol
Hill blog, seems to never sleep. We know this from her late-night and
early-morning email dispatches. Felicia, who is fast and smart and
observant, will play a utility role on the White House team, including
exploring the life and daily routines of the president and those around

Zachary Goldfarb, who was indispensable explaining the fiscal cliff follies
to our readers, will join the White House team as an economic policy writer
under a joint arrangement between Financial and National. Zach has
distinguished himself as one of the leading economic reporters in
Washington, and will bring that expertise to the White House beat. He has
helped break news on the interminable budget battles roiling Washington
while also telling readers what the developments mean for their lives and
pocketbooks. With fierce debates over the debt ceiling and sequestration
still to come, we’re extremely happy to have Zach on the job at 1600
Pennsylvania Ave.

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