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Politico sets sights on Sacramento

A screen-capture image from Politico's Twitter feed.

Politico, a Washington, D.C.-based news outlet, plans to expand its California presence by adding 34 full-time employees by the end of next year and an additional seven by 2020, according to state business officials.

The news organization will “hire full-time employees and invest in office space and computer equipment as part of its expansion in Sacramento, California,” the governor’s business agency reported in an eight-page text of the March 30 agreement between the state and Politico. Under the agreement, which was approved April 14, Politico will receive a $205,000 tax credit.

Under the terms of the agreement, Politico will add 34 workers in California through the 2017 tax year, rising to 37 in 2018, 39 in 2019 and 41 in 2020.

There were no details of the functions of the new employees – whether they are editorial or business staffers, for example – or whether they will be located solely in Sacramento or throughout the state.

There was no comment from Politico.

Currently, Politico’s most visible item produced here is the California Playbook, a detailed, daily rundown of California political news distributed to subscribers via email.

Under the terms of the agreement, Politico will add 34 workers in California through the 2017 tax year, rising to 37 in 2018, 39 in 2019 and 41 in 2020. The cumulative annual average salary of the full-time workers was put at $90,000, with a minimum salary of $50,000.

Major news organizations currently covering state Capitol politics on a regular basis include a number of metropolitan newspapers — the Sacramento Bee, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the San Jose Mercury News – and other organizations that include the Associated Press, broadcast organizations and a number of online-only outlets. Combined, they have about 30 full-time political reporters covering Sacramento.

“It’s a great thing for California political reporting,” said Roger Salazar, a political strategist and former White House spokesman during the Bill Clinton administration. “There are some great political reporters in Sacramento, but there are far too few of them.”

He added: “Of course, that doesn’t speak to the economic impacts on the press corps of bringing in a big political reporting arm. But more reporters will give Californians a better understanding of their government and a better understanding of their politics.”


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