Politico Executive Editor Rick Berke Resigns

Berke cited strategy disagreements with co-founders John Harris and Jim VandeHei as the reason he is stepping down

Rick Berke, executive editor of Politico resigned Sunday, according to multiple media reports.

Berke cited the reason for his resignation as disagreements with co-founders John Harris and Jim VandeHei over how to run the online news organization.

“While our overarching goals are similar, Jim, John and I have agreed to disagree over the strategy for achieving those goals,” Berke wrote in an email to Politico’s staff.

Also read: Rick Berke Leaving New York Times to Run Politico

The veteran journalist spent 27 years as a political reporter, editor and assistant managing editor at the New York Times before joining Politico last fall. He replaced VandeHei, who was promoted to president and CEO of the site and Capital New York in October 2013.

In a separate memo to staff, VandeHei and Harris said they had accepted Berke’s resignation. “We were in agreement that a vibrant and growing publication must have a leadership team that is fully in sync on its mission and how to achieve it.”

Also read: Capital New York Relaunching, Bringing Politico Flare to Big Apple

Berke’s departure comes just five weeks after Politico managing editor Rachel Smolkin left to join CNN Digital, as TheWrap previously reported.

Below is Berke’s full resignation letter, which was obtained by Mediabistro’s Fishbowl DC blog.

The Staff:

I have resigned as Executive Editor of Politico. While our overarching goals are similar, Jim, John and I have agreed to disagree over the strategy for achieving those goals. There is no acrimony and no drama – simply an acceptance by the three of us that the dynamics were just not there for us to function seamlessly.

I look back with enormous pride over what we have all accomplished, even in a short time. Day by day, hour by hour, we made our stories sharper and more engaging. We raised our ambitions with tough-minded projects such as “Hillary Clinton’s Shadow Campaign” and “The Obama Paradox,” and by leveraging our policy reporters across federal agencies, we produced high-impact pieces like our examination of Obama’s use of executive authority. We formed a polling partnership that enabled Politico to analyze more deeply the issues that drive the most competitive House and Senate races. We added more polish, graphics and ambition to our video operation. We created our first annual Politico Journalism Institute this summer, which was a huge success and a promising start at encouraging diversity in newsrooms.

It is difficult to express how much admiration I have for you as journalists and colleagues. I was inspired every day by your competitive drive, vast knowledge, creative ideas and relentlessness to dig deeper and reach higher. And I could not be more impressed with the journalistic force that John, Jim and Robert Allbritton have created. I saw a clear path to help them take Politico to the next level, but as time went on, it became clear that our strategies were diverging. I will root for them and for all of you.

Rick

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