Top Politico Editor Resigns Abruptly Over Strategic Differences

Politico executive editor Rick Berke announced Sunday evening that he is parting with the Beltway-centric outlet, a surprise resignation that comes less than a year after his hire.

In a memo sent to staff, and obtained by the Huffington Post, Berke said while he was leaving on amicable terms, he no longer saw eye-to-eye with Politico’s co-founders John Harris and Jim VandeHei.

“While our overarching goals are similar, Jim, John and I have agreed to disagree over the strategy for achieving those goals,” he wrote in the memo. “There is no acrimony and no drama – simply an acceptance by the three of us that the dynamics were just not there for us to function seamlessly.”

Harris and VandeHei seemed to echo that sentiment in their own memo, which can also be read at HuffPo.

“This isn’t an isolated decision. We have very big plans for expanding POLITICO here and elsewhere and need in place a leadership team that shares our vision, ambitions and full faith,” the pair, often referred to as VandeHarris, wrote to staff. “It is no secret some cool changes are coming to the newsroom, culminating with a sharper focus on owning our core areas of interest: Congress, policy, politics and the White House. You should expect some big new hires, too.”

Berke, a longtime reporter at the New York Times, joined Politico in October as a replacement to VandeHei, who had been elevated to CEO of Politico and Capital New York.

In his announcement of the hire to staff, Harris called Berke “a political junkie” and a “deep admirer of the publication.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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