Politico CEO Jim VandeHei is expected to leave the company he co-founded later this year in what staffers believe will be a major shake-up, with other top journalists and executives also leaving the news organization later this year. Beyond VandeHei, at least four other high-level departures are expected, according to newsroom sources.
The trio add that VandeHei and Politico’s owner, Robert Allbritton, had recently reached an impasse about the political outlet’s finances. One sign of the their disagreements, apparently, is the expected departure of the outlet’s chief White House correspondent, Mike Allen, after the 2016 campaign. Allen publishes Playbook, a daily morning newsletter which has become a significant source of revenue for Politico.
It’s unclear what exactly precipitated the disagreement between VandeHei and Allbritton. However, it’s worth noting that Politico’s financial model has placed a heavy emphasis on rewarding star talent. As Gabriel Sherman reported in The New Republic in 2009:
Reporters’ personalities and proclivities would be considered assets to be promoted, not hidden. And, for brand-name reporters, Politico was willing to pay stratospheric (by journalism standards) salaries. Top writers are rumored to make between $150,000 and $250,000.
Update — 6:52 p.m.
Jim VandeHei, the co-founder and CEO of Politico; Mike Allen, author of the influential Politico Playbook; and Kim Kingsley, the company’s chief operating officer will all leave the company later this year, sources with knowledge of the situation told CNNMoney on Thursday.
Update — 7:30 p.m.
So now you know the news: I am leaving POLITICO after the election. The timing is poetic: it will mark my 10th Anniversary, almost to the day. I came in just as the Barack Obama phenomenon exploded in 2006 and plan to depart just after his successor is picked and his presidency concludes. ...
Mike Allen, Kim Kingsley, Roy Schwartz and Danielle Jones, all of whom will be seeking their own new adventures this year, personify high-achievement and humility. They inspire and sharpen me—and all of us‚ everyday.