Tampa Bay Times loses two star journalists to Politico

Two months ago, journalists at Poynter’s Tampa Bay Times were told that “if you have options, you should be exploring them because there’s no guarantee of where we’ll be in three months.”

Bill Duryea and Michael Kruse explored their options and jumped to Politico, where they’ll lead the website’s enterprise unit.

A Politico memo says: “The award-winning team …[has] done everything from a massive deep-dive (literally) on the sinking of the tall ship Bounty in Hurricane Sandy to revelatory profiles on Charlie Crist and other political figures.”

Read the full memo after the jump:

From: Susan Glasser
Sent: Tuesday, November 18, 2014 4:29 PM
To: TP-Edit
Subject: dept of more hands on deck

Dear Politicos…

Delighted to announce today that we’ve hired an incredible pair of journalists to form the nucleus of a new POLITICO enterprise team: Bill Duryea and Michael Kruse. The award-winning team joins us from the Tampa Bay Times, where they’ve done everything from a massive deep-dive (literally) on the sinking of the tall ship Bounty in Hurricane Sandy to revelatory profiles on Charlie Crist and other political figures. Bill, who will run and edit the team, founded a similar team in Florida and since 2009 its writers have been recognized repeatedly with national awards from the American Society of Newspaper Editors and others.

Bill, who also singlehandedly edits Floridian, a monthly news feature magazine recognized for its excellence, is an incredible ideas-driven editor, and in addition to the team he’s built and runs day to day he has been an adept editor drawing from talent across the newsroom in Tampa, a model we are expecting he will follow here at Politico in working to develop great enterprise stories from across the staff. In Michael, we are adding a perfect first recruit for Bill’s team; this is a duo that has a great and proven record of producing award-winning journalism together.

Michael will be a senior staff writer with a focus on political enterprise as we head into the 2016 election cycle. A veteran of Tampa and St. Pete since 2005, Michael started out in journalism at a small paper in the Hudson Valley. A graduate of Davidson College, he’ll move here with his wife Lauren and two daughters. Bill, a Wesleyan graduate who early in his career was the managing editor of the New Milford Times, comes to the DC area with his wife Alliston and three sons. Michael and Bill will be up and running by the beginning of the year.

In the coming days and weeks, we’ll have much more to say about how this fits into Politico’s next act, which started last week with the relaunch of our website. In the meantime, we are already working to develop the kind of enterprise stories that will form the heart of Bill’s mission, and we have asked Michael Hirsh, the magazine’s national editor and before that a longtime Newsweek editor and accomplished writer of cover stories there, to help us produce some of them. Helping him do so will be another Newsweek veteran, the magazine’s former Washington bureau chief Jeff Bartholet, who starting this week has joined us on a part-time basis to help edit both print stories for POLITICO Magazine and enterprise pieces for the website.

We’ll be actively entertaining pitches from across the newsroom for these stories as well as seeking out reporters to work on them; our goal, as with the site relaunch, is to produce even more original and revelatory reporting from POLITICO; some of it will be quick turnaround, taking readers inside news events in relatively real time; others will be longer term projects. All will be reporting driven.

We’re thrilled at this big new development for Politico’s journalism, and can’t wait to welcome Bill and Michael to the newsroom.