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Diamond Hands

Relatively speaking, February has been a much more stable month than January, allowing us to home in on political/D.C./vaccine rollout Movers & Shakers. Though it’s worth mentioning Texas was 4 minutes and 37 seconds from a collapse of its power grid.

The New York Times announced its White House team, while Maggie Haberman is already thinking about 2022 midterms and the 2024 presidential campaign. Voting rights will surely come into play as 33 states introduce new legislation aimed at election procedures and voter access. We’re also paying special attention to the NYT masthead and Carolyn Ryan, thought to be the most powerful woman in the newsroom.

There were also big political moves at FOX News and Insider; and a Politico hire gives us a chance to tout our COVID-19 reporting list. Outside newspaper and digital media reporters, there are some big interviews to look out for, such as Mehdi Hasan starting a new show Sunday at 8 p.m. His first guest is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

On Monday at 10 p.m., Ashleigh Banfield hopes to revive the Larry King-style interview on weeknights. In her hour-long show, Banfield will conduct in-depth interviews with a single newsmaker, politician, or celebrity guest. Keith Olbermann, who has been doing political commentary on YouTube, is on the upcoming guest list.

Movers & Shakers

  • After covering the Trump administration, NYT’s Haberman joined the investigative/enterprise team in Washington, where she’ll bring her wide knowledge of Democrats as well as Republicans to help land stories and projects about the Biden administration.
    • Haberman will continue to work with the politics desk to track the post-Trump landscape and the early rumblings of the 2022 midterms and the 2024 presidential campaign.
    • There were also seven updates to the NYT White House team, including domestic policy coverage by Annie Karni, Katie Rogers and immigration-focused Michael Shear.
    • NYT also added Jennifer Steinhauer and John Ismay to its Pentagon team.
  • FOX News Channel promoted Mike Emanuel to chief Washington correspondent, and made national reporter Jacqui Heinrich a congressional correspondent alongside Chad Pergram.
    • FOX News Digital brought in David Trulio as managing editor and head of strategy. He was counselor to the chairman, and senior vice president for the Program on China and Transformational Exports. In addition, Michael Arroyo and Kelley Kramer were promoted to deputy managing editors.
  • As previously reported, Insider doubled the size of its D.C. office. Adam Wren just started as a politics feature reporter.
  • Roger Sollenberger is leaving Salon for The Daily Beast, where he will cover money in politics.
  • Brakkton Booker is joining Politico as a national political correspondent and author of The Recast, a newsletter focusing on the intersection of race, power, politics and policy.
  • Nicole Avery Nichols is the new editor-in-chief of Chalkbeat, a nonprofit providing deep, local coverage of education policy and practice. Bene Cipolla becomes publisher.
  • Marianna Sotomayor joined The Washington Post to cover Congress after covering Biden’s presidential campaign for NBC News.
  • New COVID-19 beat reporters: Austin Landis updates her beats to show she’s covering the federal response to the pandemic, while Erin Banco joins Politico to cover the pandemic response and the CDC. You’ll notice Landis’ name in our beat-tracking report but not Banco, as she would show up in the listed searches.
  • Speaking of lists, this Media Intelligence one on Twitter is worth a follow. Media Reporter Mark Stenberg is on there. He just joined AdWeek from Business Insider, where he wrote about media and the creator economy.

It’s almost a wonder why anyone would leave Insider right now.

This week’s highlights also include:

On a final note, for those who want the inside scoop on Congress, Punchbowl News has been coming through. Less than two hours ago, they broke news that Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT, 3) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the chairs of the House and Senate Appropriations committees respectively, reached a deal on the ground rules for earmarks in this year’s spending bills.

Leadership Connect is hear to filter the noise. If you think an outlet or reporter deserves attention, please let us know.


— Megan Kashtan and Wayne McKenzie contributed to this briefing.

Baz Hiralal

Managing Editor, Thought Leadership