Dec 1, 2020 - Economy

Scoop: Politico stars plot new Playbook

Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Three of Politico’s biggest reporting stars plan to launch a competitor to the company’s Politico Playbook franchise, sources tell me. 

Why it matters:  Jake Sherman, Anna Palmer and John Bresnahan will launch a daily newsletter in 2021 as a stand-alone company, the sources say. In effect, they will be competing against the Playbook franchise they helped create and grow. 

  • The newsletter will include a heavy focus on Capitol Hill reporting, given the expertise of the trio, but it's not designed to be a carbon copy of Politico's flagship newsletter Playbook.
  • The new venture will include other offerings aside from the newsletter.
  • Sherman and Palmer have been soliciting emails via social media to get set up quickly after they depart.

Between the lines: Industry sources tell me they will be able to attract advertisers focused on the DC market, especially if they quickly replicate their elite audience. It is unclear if the product will be paid. 

  • Politico editor Carrie Budoff Brown announced Monday that Politico reporters Heather Caygle and Burgess Everett would become Politico's new Congressional bureau chiefs.
  • Politico executives have not yet announced Playbook replacements.

What they're saying: "We’re still finalizing our next steps -- 2021 is a long way away. We’ll have more to say on our plans after the new year. Anna and I have absolutely loved our careers at POLITICO," Sherman tells Axios.

  • Politico spokesperson Brad Dayspring tells Axios: "We have enormous ambition for the Playbook franchise headed into 2021 and beyond, as well as for Huddle, our Capitol Hill focused newsletter. Look for some exciting news on both fronts this month."
  • "Whatever their next adventure is, be it focused on the Hill or elsewhere, Bres, Anna, and Jake each had great runs at POLITICO and we wish them the best as they begin a new journey."

The bottom line: They're the latest big media stars to leave their outlets in pursuit of independent projects.

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