Like Madonna, CQ Roll Call Masthead Undergoes Constant Re-Invention

Today we learned that Sujata Mitra is leaving CQRC for HuffPo. That made the 7th article this FishbowlDC editor has written about CQRC staff changes in less than two months. And now comes the 8th. In an email to staff, Anne Hoy announced three promotions and EIGHT new hires as part of an expanded collaboration with Thompson Reuters’s WestlawNext legal research system. CQRC currently provides “Washington Briefings” and policy updates for researchers using the database in the areas of securities, banking, and energy. The new hires and promotions are aimed at expanding CQRC contributions to include mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, capital markets and immigration.

They also come after a series of shake-ups at the org, which, taken together, indicate that CQRC is hiring people who can commoditize their information assets, at the expense of retaining more traditional journalistic talent.

The most recent round of staff changes is pretty intense, so rather than repackage it, we’ll let you read in straight from the horse’s mouth after the jump.

To the newsroom:

CQ Roll Call is expanding its partnership with Thomson Reuters early next year beyond our securities, banking and energy coverage now showcased on Westlaw’s Practitioner Insights product, part of the WestlawNext platform. We’ll be broadening our exclusive analyses of regulatory and legislative developments to the areas of mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, capital markets and immigration. The expansion allows us to share our trademark, high-quality premium journalism with an even broader legal audience. We are also expanding our team of analysts and editors and I wanted to bring you up to date on who’s who and who’s coming aboard.

Benton Ives has guided the existing coverage since its inception earlier this year, shaping and editing the work of a team of seven who follow and explain regulatory and legislative developments for Westlaw’s audience of lawyers and legal professionals. The growing relationship allows us to add three editors and six analysts to Benton’s team and to move some existing analysts into new leadership roles. Randy Walerius, who has been with the group since it started in January, becomes securities editor and Peter Feltman, a securities analyst, is now a senior securities analyst.

Before introducing the new team, I’d like to note that our own Tait Militana joined Emily Holden as a fellow energy analyst in November under the direction of Pam Radtke Russell. Tait has played many roles since coming to CQ Roll Call in May of 2010, including covering agriculture and energy policy for the Legislative Action team and serving as a researcher for BillTrack and StateTrack. Before that, Tait covered the Connecticut delegation for that state’s Norwalk Hour. He is a graduate of Boston University.

Please join me in also welcoming the rest of our team:

Kieran Sharpe, the new banking and finance editor, will work with our two existing banking analysts, Steven Harass and Gail Sullivan. He brings extensive experience to the team, most recently serving as a litigation lawyer on cases involving securities fraud, corporate mergers and accounting standards. Kieran has worked on legislative and regulatory matters for banks and nonbanks and provided counsel on the Dodd-Frank law, the CARD Act, the Bank Secrecy law during more than five years at the law firms of Howrey and Morrison Foerster. He also has more than 20 years experience editing legal publications. Kieran is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania, Virginia and the District of Columbia, and a graduate of the American University’s Washington College of Law.

Stephen Walsh joins the group as a legal news editor from Bloomberg News in Washington, where he edited regulatory news and produced a congressional briefing for Bloomberg Government. Before moving to Washington in 2010, he edited enterprise, transportation and energy stories for Bloomberg in its Chicago bureau. Previously, he wrote and edited banking and securities industry news in New York. A Massachusetts native, he is a graduate of Suffolk University in Boston.

Leslie Hoffecker, who will become a news editor for immigration, comes from Bloomberg News, where she was an editor on the U.S. government team, handling news about the White House, Congress, the Supreme Court, the Defense and State departments and political campaigns. She previously worked for Congressional Quarterly as news editor and was an assistant national editor in the Washington bureau of the Los Angeles Times. Earlier in her career, she was communications director at a public policy center at the University of California-San Diego that focused on U.S.-Mexico issues, including immigration policy. She is a graduate of Vassar College.

Christina Carr becomes an immigration analyst, bringing to her position significant legal and policy experience. For the last two years, she has worked for the Labor Department’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification as an immigration policy analyst.  Before moving to Washington, she worked in immigration law in Miami, Florida. She is a graduate of the University of Miami and earned her law degree from the University of Miami School of Law.

Jad Chamseddine will take on the role of mergers and acquisitions analyst. He comes from Thomson Reuters, where he worked as a senior analyst providing analyses of merger & acquisition deals. At TR, Jad combed through SEC filings looking for newly announced acquisitions and developments in previously announced deals. Before that, he worked at Institutional Shareholder Services advising institutional shareholders on corporate governance practices. Jad is a graduate of the American University of Beirut and earned a law degree from The University of Toledo College of Law. He is fluent in German and Arabic and an avid soccer supporter.

Alexandra Higgins brings more than a decade of experience in the field of corporate governance to her position as corporate governance analyst. She began working as a compensation analyst at The Corporate Library, a corporate governance research firm in Portland, Maine ten years ago and steadily moved up in the company. She researched and wrote analyses of corporate governance issues, including executive compensation policies, board practices, takeover defenses and internal controls. In June 2008, the Yale School of Management named her “a rising star of corporate governance.” In December 2008, when The Corporate Library merged with Audit Integrity and Governance Metrics International to form GMI Ratings, Alexandra was promoted to governance advisor, where she consulted with securities litigation firms on how to incorporate corporate governance into settlement discussions in securities and derivative cases. Alexandra is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine.

William Ardinger joins the team as a capital markets analyst after almost two years as a Senate aide. In the Washington office of New Hampshire Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte, Will was responsible for communicating with constituents about the senator’s legislative and policy positions and preparing research and analyses relating to legislative and regulatory proposals affecting the financial services industry, including the overhaul of money market funds, interchange fee regulations for debit card transactions and the implementation of the Dodd-Frank law. Will graduated from Bates College and is currently preparing for the CFA Level II exam.

Eric Hammesfahr brings to the security analyst position hands on experience working at Bloomberg BNA on the launch of two tax products intended for a legal audience. He conducted extensive research into state tax laws, writing and updating detailed reports on tax law changes. As a law student in Rhode Island, he served as a student attorney representing indigent clients and also provided legal research and analyses of commercial transactions at the Delaney and DeMerchant law firm. Eric graduated from Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania and earned a law degree from Roger Williams University School of Law in Rhode Island and a Masters of Law degree in banking and financial law from Boston University School of Law.   

Please join me in congratulating Randy, Peter and Tait on their promotions, and in welcoming Kieran, Steven, Leslie, Christina, Jad, Alex, Will and Eric to the CQ Roll Call newsroom. You’ll find them in the southwest corner of the 7th Floor so go introduce yourselves.