Politico, known originally as The Politico, is an American political journalism company based in Arlington County, Virginia, that covers politics and policy in the United States and internationally. It distributes content through its website, television, printed newspapers, radio, and podcasts. Its coverage in Washington, D.C., includes the U.S. Congress, lobbying, the media and the presidency.
From the beginning, journalists covering political campaigns for Politico carried a video camera to each assignment, and they were encouraged to promote their work elsewhere. By 2008, Politico received more than three million unique visits per month.
In September 2008, The New York Times reported that Politico would expand its operations following the 2008 presidential election: "[A]fter Election Day, [Politico] will add reporters, editors, Web engineers and other employees; expand circulation of its newspaper edition in Washington; and print more often." Between the 2008 and 2012 elections, Politico's staff more than tripled in size. Notable additions included two political commentators, Michael Kinsley and Joe Scarborough, as opinion writers.
In 2009 the web pages shortened their name from The Politico to more simply just Politico.
In 2011, Politico began to focus more on long-form journalism and news analysis. This shift in coverage received further support in June 2013 with the hiring of Susan Glasser to oversee "opinion from prominent outside voices" and "long-form storytelling." In September 2014, Glasser was tapped to serve as Politico's new editor, following the resignation of Richard Berke the previous month.
VandeHei was named Politico's new chief executive in October 2013. Under his leadership, Politico continued to grow: in 2014 alone, it expanded revenues by 25%. By 2016, Politico had nearly 500 employees worldwide.
Amidst reports of tensions, VandeHei and Allen announced that they would leave Politico after the 2016 presidential election. Allbritton was named as CEO in Vandehei's stead. In April 2017, Politico announced that investment banker Patrick Steel would succeed as Allbritton as CEO, effective May 8.
On June 25, 2007, Mike Allen launched Playbook, a daily early-morning email newsletter. Within a few years, the newspaper had attained a large readership amongst members of the D.C. community. By 2016, over 100,000 people – including "insiders, outsiders, lobbyists and journalists, governors, senators, presidents and would-be presidents" – read Playbook daily. Multiple commentators credit Allen and Playbook with strongly influencing the substance and tone of the rest of the national political news cycle.
Daniel Lippman joined Politico in June 2014, in large part to assist Allen with Playbook. Upon Allen's departure in July 2016, Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman joined Lippman to assume Playbook-writing duties. In March 2017, Politico announced the creation of a second, mid-day edition of Playbook – entitled "Playbook Power Briefing" – written by the same people who authored the morning edition.
As of 2017, a weekly sponsorship of Playbook costs between $50,000 and $60,000.
Politico Pro launched in 2010. With roughly 100 reporters at its disposal, Politico Pro provides in-depth coverage of over a dozen major topic areas. The service charges its readers by topic area, with the costs running well over $1,000 per topic per year. Despite the paywall in place, Politico Pro has a 93% subscription renewal rate, and it provides one fourth of Politico's overall revenue. Access to the main site and the Playbook remained free of charge.
The Politico, February 15, 2007
In November 2013, Politico launched Politico Magazine (ISSN2381-1595), which is published online and bimonthly in print. In contrast to Politico's focus on "politics and policy scoops" and breaking news, Politico Magazine focuses on "high-impact, magazine-style reporting", such as long-form journalism. The first editor of Politico Magazine was Susan Glasser, who came to the publication from Foreign Policy magazine.
After Glasser was promoted to become Politico's editor, Garrett Graff was named as editor, followed by Stephen Heuser. In December 2016, Blake Hounshell was named the new editor-in-chief of the magazine.
Along with a targeted free audience of roughly 30,000 readers, Politico Magazine is available via subscription for $200 per year. Content from Politico Magazine is also accessible online.
In September 2013, Politico acquired the online news site Capital New York, which also operated separate departments covering Florida and New Jersey. In April 2015, Politico announced its intention to rebrand the state feeds with the Politico name (Politico Florida, Politico New Jersey, and Politico New York) to expand its coverage of state politics. In September 2018, Politico announced it would launch Politico California Pro.
On March 27, 2018, Politico revealed that it had redesigned its website for the first time since 2014. Changes included a redesigned and more mobile-friendly home page, a different typeface (with Din replacing Proxima Nova), and a new "Quick Pops" feed of breaking news stories.
As of 2017, Politico averaged 26 million unique visitors a month to its American website, and more than 1.5 million unique visitors to its European site.
The print newspaper has a circulation of approximately 32,000, distributed for free in Washington, D.C. and Manhattan. The newspaper prints up to five issues a week while Congress is in session and sometimes publishes one issue a week when Congress is in recess. It carries advertising, including full-page ads from trade associations and a large help-wanted section listing Washington political jobs.
Multiple commentators have credited Politico's original organizational philosophy—namely, prioritizing scoops and publishing large quantities of stories—with forcing other, more-established publications to make a number of changes, such as increasing their pace of production and changing their tone.
Among the journalists who have worked for Politico are the following:
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