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November 16, 2022updated 17 Nov 2022 3:13pm

‘Transatlantic Politico’: European CEO departs as publisher combines US and EU arms into one business

By William Turvill

Politico Europe’s chief executive is to depart as the publisher prepares to merge its US and EU arms into a single operating company.

In an email to staff on Tuesday, Goli Sheikholeslami, the chief executive of Politico Media Group, laid out her plan to create “one transatlantic media company”.

The change means that Claire Boussagol, the chief executive of Politico Europe, will be leaving the business. She started her role in June 2021 after joining from APCO Worldwide, a public affairs and communications consultancy.

In her email to staff, Sheikholeslami said: “Our readers, subscribers, and clients often do not differentiate POLITICO.com from POLITICO Pro from a brand perspective. They don’t see us as POLITICO Europe or POLITICO U.S. or POLITICO States. They see us simply as POLITICO.

“We must begin thinking of ourselves in the same manner – a single TRANSATLANTIC POLITICO united around a shared vison – to connect, inform and hold to account communities of decision makers and those who seek to influence them. This new management team will set the strategy to achieve that and run the business together.

“One consequence of operating as one global company is that an independent CEO running the European business as a standalone operation is no longer needed.”

Politico’s new combined leadership team will include US editor-in-chief Matt Kaminski and Europe editor-in-chief Jamil Anderlini. They both report into John Harris, the editorial chair, and Sheikholeslami.

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The US arm of Politico, launched in 2007, was previously a separate entity from Politico Europe, which was set up in 2015. Politico Europe was originally a joint venture between Politico and German publishing giant Axel Springer.

Last year Axel Springer, which also owns Insider and Morning Brew in the US, acquired Politico for $1bn, taking full control of both the US and European businesses.

News of the US and European businesses being combined was revealed to staff on Tuesday as Politico also announced the closure of US technology news site Protocol.

The site was launched by Robert Allbritton, Politico’s former owner and publisher, in February 2020. CNN reported that the closure of Protocol would impact around 60 staff.

In a post on their website, Protocol’s president, Bennett Richardson, and executive editor, James Condliffe, confirmed that it would no longer be publishing stories. Protocol’s flagship newsletter, Source Code, will continue to send out before closing in December.

Richardson and Condliffe wrote: “Building this publication has not been easy; as with any small startup organization, it has often been chaotic. But it has also been hugely fulfilling for those involved. We could not be prouder of, or more grateful to, the team we have assembled here over the last three years to build the publication. They are an inspirational group of people who have gone above and beyond, week after week. Today, we thank them deeply for all the work they have done.”

Picture: Politico

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