Drastic Changes at CQ Roll Call Ahead of CQ Now Launch

Just over a month after David Ellis signed on as VP of News at CQ Roll Call, the former editor at large at Bloomberg’s Washington bureau announced his first newsroom changes.

In a confidential memo (Subject Line: A confidential FYI from David Ellis) sent to staff this morning and forwarded to FishbowlDC, Ellis announced changes in advance of the late-April launch of CQ Now, described as a “daily gateway to the latest intelligence about the inner workings of Capitol Hill.”

Read more after the jump.

CQ Roll Call Colleagues:

I’m excited to share with you some of the organizational changes we’re putting in place for the launch of CQ Now, our clients’ daily gateway to the latest intelligence about the inner workings of Capitol Hill.

Jessica Cuellar will come back to the 7th floor as Director of CQ Now, with responsibility for keeping the site fresh with minute-to-minute news updates and the best policy coverage. Jessica’s knowledge about how CQ clients use our insight and analysis will help shape how we deliver our content and guide us in developing new products.

Chris Wright joins Jessica’s team as CQ Now editor, with Jamisha Ford and Sara Smith rounding out the core editing group. Paul Jenks joins them in an expanded role as News and Analytics Editor for CQ Now. Since Paul starts his day before sunrise, he’ll be our lookout for overnight news of importance to our clients. Sara is at her post until the Senate blows out the last candle, meaning that our Capitol Hill coverage remains the most comprehensive of any news organization in town.

Kathleen Murphy will make the journey across the 7th floor to become the managing editor of News Operations, with a key role in integrating the Legislative Action team into the unified newsroom. Kathleen’s superb organizational skills will be brought to bear on our daily copy flow and how we cover every major floor action and committee markup as it happens. Noella Kertes and Charlene Carter will run the new Congressional News team, reporting to Kathleen and Jessica, sharing daily editing responsibilities with the CQ Now squad.

Policy editor Kevin Whitelaw will take the lead over the coming months on our budget and appropriations reporting, working across several beats to ensure that our coverage of the spending fights to come remains the smartest and fastest in Washington. Kevin has done a superb job of running our defense coverage, and the task of managing that Murderers’ Row lineup of great reporters now passes into the capable hands of Paul Hendrie. The Tall Paul, Paul Page, will continue to guide broader economics coverage, working with the reporters covering taxes, banking and finance.

I’ve asked Paul P. to take on an additional strategic role planning how we introduce more sophisticated data visualization on our site. He’ll work with the CQ Weekly graphics team over the next few months to develop a multimedia strategy.

Jane Norman, already known as a fine editor and trusted mentor, will take the lead on several new areas of coverage that we will outline to reporters over the coming weeks, with Adriel Bettelheim expanding his role in health care coverage. CQ Weekly editors Mike Christensen and Steve Gettinger will also be working more closely with the daily news team on enterprise products, including the Roll Call policy focus pieces.

We’ll have a Town Hall meeting next week to discuss the launch of CQ Now and answer your questions.

The changes will trigger some desk moves as the CQ Now desk will be joined by the blog editors handling the topics that matter most to our clients: Agriculture & Food, Banking & Finance, Defense, Energy & Environment and Transportation. We’ll keep disruptions to a minimum by shifting people over the recess weeks.

Our unified newsroom is designed to fulfill our core mission: to serve the people and institutions that make and shape public policy. Please join me in congratulating the team on their new roles.


Now that’s a lot of moves!