More Departures at Politico

New editor continues to lose staffers

Susan Glasser
Susan Glasser / Politico Facebook
January 12, 2015

At least five Politico journalists have left the publication in the past ten days, as the outlet continues its rocky transition under new editor Susan Glasser.

The Virginia-based publication has lost many of its top reporters over the past year, a trend that has continued since Glasser took over in September.

The latest round of departures includes reporter Maggie Haberman, one of Politico’s leading reporters, whose exit leaves a massive hole in the outlet’s Hillary Clinton coverage. Haberman announced on Friday that she is joining the New York Times. 

Politico Pro technology editor Eric Nelson is also leaving at the end of the week, according to an internal email sent on Monday.

Other departures in the last ten days include Lois Romano, Politico’s events editor, who is returning to the Washington Post; Kate Davidson, Politico’s banking reporter, who is leaving for the Wall Street Journal; and health care reporter Paige Cunningham, who announced last week that she is joining the Washington Examiner.

The Washington Free Beacon reported last month that concerns about Glasser’s management style and the outlet’s direction have contributed to the recent turmoil in the newsroom. The Washington Post reported in December that around 40 staffers left Politico in 2014, including around a dozen who exited after Glasser took over in September.

Insiders told the Free Beacon in December that Glasser seemed to be changing the outlet’s identity, placing emphasis on analysis and opinion rather than the microscoops that Politico was known for.

"Politico used to be a place that flooded the zone, advanced the ball incrementally," said one former staffer. "It was a place where you could get a scooplet or a quick hit on the website in an hour, and lots of people liked working for a publication like that. It seems she’s changing the DNA of the place."

Others said several long-time editors were sidelined by the new leadership, and Glasser’s combative personal style rubbed some the wrong way.

"I was a little sort of grossed out by how she dealt with a few people," said a former Politico staffer. "I think she just makes decisions, she makes very sort of snap judgments about people, like she likes them or she doesn’t. And if she makes a snap judgment that’s not in your favor, you’re screwed."

Despite the wave of staff departures, Politico has managed to recruit some prominent talent, including Michael Grunwald from Time magazine and former Reuters media critic Jack Shafer.

However, sources said more departures are expected, including at a couple of high-profile names who are on contract but plan to leave when their terms are completed.

A spokesperson for Politico did not immediately return a request for comment.

Published under: Politico