Washington Post political reporter Dan Balz is considering leaving the paper after more than three decades on staff.
Balz is currently in talks with Reuters over taking a major editorial role at the news organization, according to sources familiar with the situation. So far, it appears that no decision has been made. Balz did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
The departure of Balz would be a significant blow to the Post heading into an election year. The paper's politics desk already lost a good chunk of its institutional memory following the death of David Broder in March. (In a tribute, Balz dubbed Broder the “best political reporter of his or any other generation.”)
Over the years, Balz has worn several hats at the Post, including political editor, national editor, and White House correspondent. These days, Balz focuses more on political analysis than straight reported campaign trail dispatches. Following the last campaign, he co-authored “The Battle for America 2008: The Story of an Extraordinary Election” with Pulitzer Prize-winner Haynes Johnson.
If Balz leaves, the 2012 race would be the Post's first presidential election without him since 1976.
For Reuters, hiring Balz would bring cachet to their Washington coverage and give the news organization more of a presence in the capital. Balz is highly respected within the political establishment and is a fixture on the Sunday shows.