Jan 5, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Olivier Knox to take over Washington Post's "Daily 202" newsletter

Photo: Olivier Knox

Olivier Knox, a veteran political reporter who most recently served as SiriusXM's chief Washington correspondent, will take over as anchor of The Washington Post's daily political newsletter, "The Daily 202," executives tell Axios.

The big picture: Knox replaces James Hohmann, who was named a columnist for WashPost's Opinions section in November.

Flashback: Hohmann launched the "Daily 202" newsletter in 2015. The newsletter has since grown to become one of The Post's most successful email products, reaching hundreds of thousands of people, many of which live outside of the Beltway.

  • Today, more than a dozen journalists support products that are a part of the growing 202 franchise, such as Health 202, Energy 202, Finance 202, Technology 202 and Cybersecurity 202 and Power Up.
  • The franchise, which also reaches key Beltway influencers, is often leveraged for The Post's news-driven events and newsmaker interviews. It also includes a podcast, hosted by Hohmann, called The Big Idea.

Details: Knox will start at the Post next Monday and will officially take over the newsletter after the Inauguration. He will report to Rachel Van Dongen, the editor of PowerPost, a vertical on all things Washington D.C.

  • While exact plans around the newsletter are still in flux, Knox says the plan is to build on some of the features that Daily 202 readers have come to know, like "The Big Idea" section, as well as to focus the newsletter on original reporting and analysis from within the Washington Post newsroom. The newsletter, he says, will also continue to highlight original work from other newsrooms.
  • "Newsletters combine urgent news coverage with the ability to provide perspective," Knox told Axios in an interview. "Ideally, the Daily 202 audience is boundless."
  • While Knox is new to newsletter writing, he's not new to Washington. Knox has spent over 20 years covering Congress, The White House, and national politics. He served as president of the White House Correspondents' Association from 2018-2019.
  • Most recently, Knox hosted a live weeknight show called “The Big Picture,” on the Sirius XM POTUS channel. Before that he served as Yahoo News' Chief Political Correspondent and covered politics for 15 years at Agence France-Presse (AFP).

The big picture: Knox's hiring comes as more Washington-based outlets look to expand their political and policy newsletter teams.

  • Sources tell Axios that several reporters and editors are being tapped to be a part of an expanded version of Politico's Playbook franchise, following the departure of former Playbook authors Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer, who recently launched a competitor to the Playbook franchise called Punchbowl.

Bottom line: "Our industry perpetually self reinventing," Knox says. "It's both healthy and necessary."

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