Jim VandeHei, founder and chief executive of influential Washington media outlet Politico, announced in a Thursday evening memo that he will resign after the election to pursue a new venture. In his memo, VandeHei said Politico executives Kim Kingsley, Roy Schwartz and Danielle Jones will also be departing, as well as Mike Allen, the tireless Washington insider who writes the daily Playbook newsletter that's become a fixture of D.C. inboxes.
Allen has been criticized as being too much of an insider at times, but he is arguably Politico's greatest reporting asset.
VandeHei hinted at possible causes of the departures in his memo:
"Robert Allbritton, who took his own risk on John [Harris] and me when we were two Washington Post journalists with a dream, plans to take a more direct role running his company," he wrote. "Robert is a great publisher who pushed all of us to think more ambitiously. He has big ideas for the publication - including a new burst of investment - and will outline them in the months ahead." John Harris, another co-founder of Politico, is not expected to leave the company.
A Huffington Post article on the departure quoted an anonymous source who said Albritton had lost patience with VandeHei and Allen's spending. Politico's top editor, Susan Glasser, is expected to move to Israel, according to the article.