Less than a year into the job, Politico Executive Editor Rick Berke has resigned from the news website because he and the site’s co-founders couldn’t agree on strategy, according to internal memos sent Sunday.
Neither of the two memos specified the points of contention.
“We simply had different visions for running the Politico newsroom,” the co-founders, Chief Executive Jim VandeHei and Editor in Chief John Harris, said in a memo to staff. “A vibrant and growing publication must have a leadership team that is fully in sync on its mission and how to achieve it.”
They cited plans for expansion, a new digital strategy and “a sharper focus” on dominating coverage of national politics and policy. The memo also hints at a coming leadership shuffle and “some big new hires.”
In his own memo to staff, Berke said, “I saw a clear path to help them take Politico to the next level, but as time went on, it became clear that our strategies were diverging.” He said his departure involves “no acrimony and no drama” and praised the journalists he has supervised for the last several months.
In October, Harris announced Berke’s hiring, saying Politico had been looking for a “Rick Berke-type” and landed the original. Before that, Berke spent 27 years at the New York Times as a political reporter and in newsroom management.
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