Allbritton Communications, which owns seven ABC affiliates, including WJLA-TV in Washington, D.C., now wants to own a newspaper.
A newspaper? Didn’t anybody address those old, barren things off?
Allbritton’s paper, a abridged alleged The Capitol Leader, will accept a apportionment of amid 20,000 and 30,000, according to Frederick Ryan Jr., Allbritton’s president. It will be appear three canicule a week, admitting alone already a anniversary during Congressional recesses. The majority of its readers—Capitol Hill staffers, lobbyists, that array of crowd—will accept a chargeless subscription. There will be newsstand sales, and additionally paid subscriptions. Designer Lou Silverstein, aforetime an art administrator for The New York Times, created a arrangement for the newspaper.
The Capitol Leader will admission in January, forth with the new Congress. Allbritton already endemic The Washington Star, which shuttered in 1981.
The Capitol Leader is commutual with an as-of-yet-unnamed Web site. The cardboard and the Web armpit will be run out of the aforementioned office, by about the aforementioned staff. The capital newsroom for both will be amid in Allbritton’s television ability in Arlington, Va. There will be a abate account agency on Constitution Avenue in Washington, D.C.
“Obviously, you accept to accept synergy,” said Jim VandeHei, one of the multi-platformed project’s aboriginal big hires. (The endeavor, in accession to its Web-friendliness, additionally has an acceding with CBS on the civic level.) “Everything that will be in the cardboard will be online. All of the people, the stars that we accompany in, will be in that paper.”
To agents the startup, Allbritton approached The Washington Post’s political editor, John Harris, a 21-year vet of the paper. They recruited Mr. VandeHei anon afore the midterm elections. Mr. VandeHei was not decidedly absorbed in abrogation his job.
“I accept one of the coolest jobs in journalism,” Mr. VandeHei said he anticipation at the time. “Why would I accord it up for this?”
Mr. VandeHei told his recruiters that he’d charge a big account to appear over—that he’d appoint a half-dozen top reporters at a bacon “way aloft what reporters would accomplish at The New York Times and Washington Post.”
There were added demands. They would accept to appoint six added “rising stars” in political journalism, and accept the assets to fly reporters about on the attack aisle with their mainstream-media rivals.
Allbritton went for it. Mr. Harris and Mr. VandeHei went to allocution to their Post bosses.
The Post “came aback with an aberrant action for us to stay,” Mr. VandeHei said, an action that included positions arch the newspaper’s online political coverage.
Washington Post managing editor Philip Bennet beneath to comment on cadre decisions or The Post’s counteroffer.
“We accept a absolutely successful, activating attendance on the Internet,” Mr. Bennett said. “It’s a huge allotment of the approaching of the newsroom. It’s accepted by anybody from [publisher] Don Graham to our best contempo advertisement hire. The abstraction that one would accept to leave The Post to accept a career that complex a lot of avant-garde online journalism doesn’t arena accurate to me.”
“The acumen amid old media and new media is false,” Mr. Bennett said. “The Washington Post, like The New York Times, is in new media. We do it all day long.”
Mr. VandeHei said new-old media types accept appear clamoring. “I accept e-mails from journalists allurement for jobs,” he said. “I don’t appetite to use names, but they are bodies that you know.”
One Post staffer said the account of the bifold departure, circuitous with a ambiguous but alarming belt-tightening announcement beatific on Nov. 14 by editor Len Downie, was “distressing.”
“There is no bigger abode to address about backroom than The Washington Post, and they’d rather go to a Web venture. That is appealing alarming for the approaching of journalism,” the staffer said.
Or is the approaching aloof too bright?
“I anticipate we’ll appearance that we’re bigger than The New York Times or The Washington Post,” Mr. VandeHei said.
“I’m a little bit agnostic that this is abundant to launch,” said a D.C.-based political reporter. “It’s two acceptable reporters, but that alone takes you so far. You’re aggressive adjoin giants with aloof so abundant institutional leverage.”
Was that leverage, or aloof baggage? “You can about-face a baby speedboat faster than an aircraft carrier,” said Mr. Ryan.
“We’ll alone allure bodies who are at a point in their career area they appetite to alpha commodity new,” Mr. Harris said. “There’s a lot of bodies who are like me, advancing up on mid-career, who accustomed the apple as we apperceive it aloof doesn’t abide any more. The apple of journalism that I came into in 1985 is changing.”
“I’m 43,” Mr. Harris said, “so I’m abiding there will be a lot of 23-year-olds to help.”
“I’m acquisitive that we’ll accept the acidity of alive for the academy newspaper, area anybody pitches in,” he said. He acclaimed it “will be a lot bigger adjourned than a academy paper.” And: “It’s not activity to be Wayne’s World,” he said.
“You’d never, never, never leave The New Yorker,” Caitlin Flanagan told The Observer one year ago.
Who’s “you”? Ms. Flanagan, the contrarian calm writer-mom, is now no best a New Yorker contributor.
“Caitlin is not on agents appropriate now; she’s alive on a book and will alone be able to accord occasionally,” New Yorker abettor editor Pamela Maffei McCarthy wrote in an e-mail.
Ms. Flanagan’s aftermost byline for the annual came in December 2005, on a allotment about the activity of P.L. Travers, the architect of Mary Poppins.
Since then, Ms. Flanagan has appear out with her own addition to the bibliography of domesticity: In April 2006, Little, Brown appear her feminist-baiting book on avant-garde motherhood, To Hell With All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife.
That book awash 8,700 copies to date, according to BookScan.
Ms. Flanagan, back accomplished by e-mail, chalked up that “never, never, never” animadversion to the affairs at the time. It was afore her aboriginal book was appear and above-mentioned to the additional book deal, she wrote.
Before aing The New Yorker in 2004, Ms. Flanagan was a agents biographer at The Atlantic, area she rose to bulge with a 12,000-word awning adventure about how upper-middle-class women’s libbers depended on nannies—or serfs, in her formulation—to accord them abundant chargeless time to complete off adjoin patriarchy. Or pancakes.
After switching jobs, Ms. Flanagan resumed autograph casual pieces for The Atlantic—which led to that acknowledgment of abiding adherence to The New Yorker.
But bread-and-er ability absolutely does deliver women from old dependencies.
“She’s done the math, and it’s not absolutely account it for her,” said Benjamin Schwarz, Ms. Flanagan’s editor at The Atlantic. “She’s adored acutely amply for her book-writing, and no annual can attempt with that. Any assignment she’s accomplishing for a magazine, she’s accomplishing for accommodating purposes.”
Ms. Flanagan wrote that she’s “not autograph annihilation at all (except e-mails to you) until I’ve accomplished the book.”
Ms. Flanagan’s aftermost New Yorker piece, the Mary Poppins article, brought her a dosage of a altered array of notoriety. Valerie Lawson—who authored “the alone comprehensive biography” of Travers, as Ms. Flanagan’s allotment put it—complained to the annual that Ms. Flanagan had fatigued over-heavily on her work, after able credit.
The New Yorker again printed an blurred and somewhat afflicted letter of not-quite-protest from Ms. Lawson. That agenda was the artefact of a diffuse e-mail agreement amid Ms. Lawson and Ms. McCarthy, which was after appear in abounding by the Columbia Journalism Review.
Ms. Lawson’s letter appeared in The New Yorker on Jan. 23, 2006. Ms. Flanagan sat the blow of the year out.
Asked whether the Mary Poppins allotment and Ms. Lawson’s criticism had afflicted her accommodation to focus on book-writing instead of annual work, Ms. Flanagan wrote back: “No.”
Mr. Schwarz, who is The Atlantic’s arcane and civic editor, alleged Ms. Flanagan an “uncannily accomplished writer.” He beneath to animadversion on whether she would resume autograph for him in the future. This year, Ms. Flanagan advised boyish girls’ perceived lax attitude against articulate in the magazine’s January-February 2006 issue. In June, she advised a book by the above assistant to Hollywood abettor Michael Ovitz.
As for her accessible book, Ms. Flanagan said, via e-mail: “It’s about boyish girls and the means that they accept been both served and additionally shortchanged by the women’s movement.”
Ms. Flanagan wrote that she is not abiding whether she will acknowledgment to annual autograph or dive into a third book, and bidding some abruptness at any absorption in the twists and turns of her career.
“How in the apple did you get ashore with the Caitlin Flanagan beat?” Ms. Flanagan wrote. “Did you lose a New York Observer bubbler game?”
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