Alex Wickham Leaving Politico for Bloomberg

After two years writing Politico’s London Playbook email, Alex Wickham is set to leave for Bloomberg in the summer. He will have a correspondent-at-large role there, focusing on British and global politics. This will no doubt be a welcome change for him to go back to writing his own stories rather than ripping off everyone else’s work for a living. The Playbook job is a killer – the late nights cutting and pasting are not something one can do forever.  Big money Bloomberg is said to be set on expanding its UK operation with some punchy hires…

This will kick off a big Lobby merry-go-round over the summer with political editor and senior reporter jobs going at the Telegraph and Guardian as well as the Sun on Sunday and Sky News after David Wooding went to the Sunday Express and Kate McCann went to TalkTV. Hope for Ben Riley-Smith yet…

As the picture above shows, the late nights and early starts required by Playbook will age you. Nevertheless, Guido understands interviews for the Playbook job are underway with some top lobby names already approached. Some runners and riders – Ben Riley-Smith, Hugo Gye, Patrick Maguire (which would add to the Politico takeover of Times talent), Katy Balls, Seb Payne, James Heale, Kate Proctor, Matt Chorley and Christian Calgie. Hacks with limited Tory contacts should forget it…

mdi-timer 26 April 2022 @ 17:17 26 Apr 2022 @ 17:17 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Speechwriter Concedes Starmer Went on “Absolutely” Too Long

Philip Collins, the man who drafted Sir Keir’s epic 90-minute address at Labour Conference last week, has admitted the speech “absolutely” went on too long – and even claimed the sections on policy (such that they were) were “a little bit baggy” and yes, “boring“. This is a speech he wrote only a week ago…

Speaking on Politico’s Westminster Insider Podcast, Collins said:

“It’s always the same bits […] the policy bits are very, very difficult to bring to life. If you don’t include them, everybody will write that you have nothing to say, that you’re empty […] those bits, if I’m critical, could have been tighter, could have been more compressed. I think they were a bit long, a little bit baggy.”

Which in view of criticisms of Boris that his conference speech was light on policy detail, suggests he made the right call. Collins, who was also Tony Blair’s wordsmith, goes on to say that while he thought Starmer handled the inevitable heckles well, the interruptions and subsequent applause (“people enjoyed it far too much!“) contributed to the running time, claiming Starmer “was getting standing ovations for things that were just basically boring lines that were meant to just take you to the next stage of the speech“. “It got ridiculous”, Collins said…

mdi-timer 8 October 2021 @ 08:36 8 Oct 2021 @ 08:36 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Conservative German Publishing Powerhouse Axel-Springer Buys Politico

Politico has been sold for $1 Billion to Axel-Springer, the German publisher of Bild – the Sun-like German tabloid – and Die Welt, among other titles. The firm had a reputation during the twentieth-century Cold War as staunchly anti-communist and pro-American editorially. To this day the titles maintains a centre-right editorial line… 

Only 15-years old, Politico has established an authoritative reputation for reporting politics seriously, originally with hacks spun out of the Washington Post, it expanded from DC to Brussels and London with more than 500 journalists. Politico generates significant revenues from specialist business-to-business subscriptions and advertising on its flagship “Playbook” morning emails.

Axel-Springer have been joint venture partners with Politico since 2014 when they launched Politico Europe. The Brussels-based division has been profitable since 2019 according to Politico sources. The sale will encourage prospective investors in Buzzfeed’s SPAC plan, though Buzzfeed is a more troubled venture despite having absorbed the Huffington Post. The market for profitable digital media ventures is strong…

mdi-timer 26 August 2021 @ 15:43 26 Aug 2021 @ 15:43 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
April Fools’ Joke is on Guido

Guido’s April Fools’ Joke this year was an email subscriber exclusive; parodying Playbook, many Westminster insiders confessed their brief confusion on receiving a short digest of the news in their inbox fifteen minutes earlier than Playbook normally hits. Highlights included an update on Tom Harwood’s leaving do and an all too accurate parody of the day’s media round.

Guido’s glad to report the joke was taken in the lighthearted way it was intended by Politico’s Alex Wickham, though he’s sure the Playbook team will be delighted to hear that while our version of his epistle got warm feedback from most in the SW1 bubble, it backfired in that it caused the largest number of confused Guidogram unsubscribers in a single day ever. To the 186 unsubscribers this morning, you’re welcome to return as a subscriber to tomorrow’s news, today. To those of you who missed the email this morning, you can read it here

mdi-timer 1 April 2021 @ 17:00 1 Apr 2021 @ 17:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Bursting Politico’s Twitter Bubble

Fascinating article this morning from Politico Europe about The Westminster Twitter Bubble. It contains lots of stuff on which MPs have the most MPs following them as well as which journalists and which media outlets are most influential in terms of being followed by MPs. Above is their chart showing the research results for media outlets. They appear to accidentally have left Guido off the list…

In an effort to be helpful Guido has added at the bottom how it would look if he was included. It reveals that little old Guido is followed by quite a few MPs. More than all of those other media outlets…

309 MPs in total follow Guido. Politico is followed by 45 MPs. Anyone who suspects this omission might be because Guido and Politico compete for advertising revenue based on how influential our audience is, has a suspicious mind. You are either in front of Guido, or you are behind. Substantially in Politico’s case…

mdi-timer 5 April 2019 @ 10:36 5 Apr 2019 @ 10:36 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Politico’s Oh No! Amateur Gaffe for New Venture

US beltway giant Politico might need to try a little harder in their new European expansion.

In a sloppy piece about Osborne – that appears to be lifted almost entirely from James Forsyth’s Twitter – Politico confuse unelected civil servant Permanent Secretaries with elected Parliamentary Private Secretaries who are drawn from the Government benches:

“Three of Osborne’s last four permanent private secretaries are now in the cabinet.”

Incorrect, and a beyond a rookie error even for a newbie outfit.

Great insight there…

mdi-timer 13 May 2015 @ 12:58 13 May 2015 @ 12:58 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments