Politico announced Thursday morning that Steve Shepard, editor-in-chief of the Hotline, is joining the newsroom and that the company will launch a new subscription service: Campaign Pro.
While Politico's been in the subscription game a few years, the emphasis has been on policy issues like defense, energy, and health care. Now Politico's offering a premium product focused on the coverage area that originally put it on map: politics and elections.
In a staff memo, chief executive Jim VandeHei and deputy editor-in-chief Danielle Jones said the new paid product is "aimed at political, PAC and campaign professionals," a group that presumably includes many of Politico's core readers (and sources).
VandeHei and Jones wrote that Campaign Pro "will allow us to go much deeper, cover exponentially more races in granular detail and write bigger pieces with even richer reporting and data." They emphasized that the increased attention paid to races around the country, for the paid product, will enhance the coverage a broader audience can still read for free.
Politico, they also noted in the memo, "will have more people covering more races than any publication in the country."
VandeHei and Jones' full memo is below:
We wanted to let you know that we have hired the editor-in-chief of the Hotline, Steve Shepard, and are starting Campaign Pro, a vertical aimed at political, PAC and campaign professionals.
Campaign Pro is going to very cool and unique and further cement our dominance in coverage of politics and elections. This will allow us to go much deeper, cover exponentially more races in granular detail and write bigger pieces with even richer reporting and data.
We are going to keep some details under wraps but wanted to share a few of the critical elements, available to subscribers only:
• We will have more people covering more races than any publication in the country
• We will provide around-the-clock coverage starting with a new-and-improved Score for insiders
• Alex Burns will write a monthly report on the state of play in House, Senate and governor's races
• We will allow readers to customize the races they care most about - and get stories on those races pushed to their email
• We will do unique polling and provide polling analysis
• We will host regular events on the 2014 election
This will be an all-hands-on-deck effort. The existing political team and new Campaign Pro squad will work together, all under the broad direction of Politics Editor, Mike Zapler. We have already reassigned four terrific reporters to help us make Campaign Pro essential: Reid Epstein, Emily Schultheis, Juana Summers and Ellie Titus. All told, a dozen reporters and editors will contribute this.
Stepping back, this is a great example of how our business model works. We can produce a product that is absolutely essential to a paying audience - and then utilize that team and coverage to write even stronger, better informed stories for our broader audience on the main site.
Thanks for an amazing start to 2014,