CQRC Names Benkelman Editorial Director

Back in September, amid the turmoil of CQRC’s transition pains, layoffs, resignations and more, Susan Benkelman took the helm as interim Editorial Director. She had stepped in for Mike Mills, who resigned after pissing off much of the newsroom for a job as Chief Content Officer at Society for Science and the Public. Well, now it’s official. CQRC has given Benkelman the post. She will hire both the new editor of Roll Call and her replacement at CQ.

“Susan is an outstanding news person and a fine editor,” said Scott Montgomery, outgoing Editor of Roll Call who recently left for a job at NPR. She understands the information needs of the CQ Roll Call audience as well as anyone in town.”

An anonymous source gushes about her to an extent that makes us a little uncomfortable, but here it goes: “Susan rose through the ranks at CQ. She’s the natural fit to take the lead as Editorial Director.  People at CQ and Roll Call know her to be a fantastic story editor. She works well with reporters; she knows what CQRC needs to be to succeed in the future.”

A common sentiment from the newsroom: “She is a much better fit for the job than Mills.”

Benkelman, formerly Executive Editor at CQ, has clocked in her time at CQRC. She first joined CQ in 1997 as Social Policy Editor, overseeing coverage of health care among other topics.

See the internal memo…

Folks –

I am pleased to announce that Susan Benkelman will become our Editorial Director, effective immediately. Her deep understanding of our unique brand of congressional news and information coupled with her proven track record in transforming products will position us well as we continue to push ahead as the leader in digital news and information on Congress and public policy.

Susan first joined CQ Roll Call in 1997 as social policy editor, overseeing our coverage of health care and other topics. She later became assistant managing editor, and then left us for a year to join the Washington Post, where she was national business editor. She returned in 2001 to be a year later as editor of the magazine, and after that was appointed executive editor for news, where she worked to integrate CQ’s daily, Weekly and online news operations. In 2005, she was instrumental in the redesign and repositioning of CQ Weekly, and served as its executive editor in one of our most successful new product launches of the previous decade. She went on to create a strategy for developing verticals that was instrumental in the sale of CQ, and became executive editor for news in 2009. Most recently, working closely with Meg Hargreaves, she has overseen the merging of our print dailies and the restructuring of the CQ Roll Call newsroom.

Before joining CQ, Susan was a reporter at Newsday and the Detroit News, specializing in regulated industries such as energy, health care, insurance and other places where business and government intersect. She is a graduate of Michigan State University, with a degree in journalism.

Please join me in congratulating Susan on this appointment.