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Ryan Lizza, Rachael Bade among authors being tapped for new Politico Playbook

Politico sources tell Axios that Ryan Lizza, Politico's chief Washington correspondent, and Rachael Bade, now of the Washington Post but formerly of Politico, will join the Politico Playbook franchise in 2021, and the company plans to add several other high-profile names to the roster in the coming weeks.

Details: The company has been trying to assemble a new team that would manage a slew of products related to the Playbook franchise.


  • While Lizza and Bade are likely to anchor the team's main newsletter product, the company is in talks with other reporters about heading up other Playbook-related products, like other Playbook-branded newsletters and audio briefings.
  • Sources tell Axios that Eliana Johnson, a former Politico White House correspondent and current editor-in-chief at the Free Beacon, as well as former Politico reporter Tara Palmeri, have also been in talks with the company about roles.

Currently there are three Playbook-branded newsletters: Politico Playbook, which comes out in the morning, Playbook PM, which comes out in the afternoon, and Transition Playbook, which tracks the appointments and people entering the new Administration.

  • Sources tell Axios that several reporters and editors will likely be tapped to be a part of the Playbook franchise, which could also potentially include a column or a longer audio briefing, in addition to the short audio briefing that comes out each morning with the main Playbook email.

Why it matters: The company has been hunting for weeks for replacements for current Playbook authors Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer, who are leaving with longtime Politico congressional bureau chief John Bresnahan to launch a competitor to the Playbook franchise, sources told Axios earlier this month.

What they're saying: "POLITICO Playbook is going to be bigger and better than it’s ever been before in 2021," says Politico spokesperson Brad Dayspring.

  • " That will include assembling an all-star team of talented journalists who can cover Washington inside and out, upside and down, and can do so from any type of platform from newsletter to audio, streaming to TV and live events."
  • "The team isn’t set until it is set, and it isn’t set yet."

Go deeper: Politico stars plan competitor to Playbook franchise

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