White House correspondent returns to print journalism

Fox News may finally have a front-row seat in the White House briefing room, but Major Garrett won’t be filling it as of Sept. 3. The cabler’s chief White House correspondent is moving back to print journalism at the National Journal, which has been on a hiring spree at some of the country’s biggest media outlets.

Pentagon reporter Mike Emanuel will move to the White House beat, where he will join correspondent Wendell Goler in replacing Garrett.

Wall Street Journal’s Susan Davis and Fawn Johnson, USA Today’s Aamer Madhani and the AP’s Washington desk head Ron Fournier (who was hired on in July to head the newsroom) have all made the leap to the Journal in recent weeks.

“I think that it’s been clear in the last couple of years that the appetite for political news in Washington is growing,” said Linda Douglass, spokeswoman for Atlantic Media (which owns the National Journal, among other publications). “There’s always been a market, but now there’s an even broader appetite.”

Atlantic Media has moved resources from other publications to help support the relaunch, including writer and blogger Marc Ambinder. Douglass said the Journal was being “revamped” to cater to that broader interest — hence the big investment in name journos.

Garrett characterized his new position as congressional correspondent as “near perfection,” though he said he understood the oddity of leaving the high-rated cable newser for a print publication.

“I don’t diminish the times in which 24-hour cable news is vital to American understanding of politics,” Garrett said. “When stories are breaking, it’s vital to provide people with facts as you get them. And I’ll miss that. But I turned 48 yesterday and candidly telling myself (I have) a third of my career to go, I want to talk less and think more.”

Garrett has worked in print media before, at D.C. daily the Washington Times.

The Journal will relaunch in September with a free website and a pay site supporting it and will aim to compete with Politico, the influential D.C.-based newspaper and website.

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