Last Updated: 09/19/2012*

When the POLITICO news service went live in January 2007, it was like a dunking in the chilly Potomac for its competitors in the Washington press corps.

Fast and aggressive, the upstart publication worked its reporters hard and its sources harder, racking up scoops at a furious pace. Competitors complained that it focused more on the power games of Washington than the concerns of constituents back home. But readers ate it up.

“It was reporting on Washington in a whole new way,” said Tim Grieve, editor of the publication’s new business news service. “The goal was always to tell stories, to break news that was revelatory even to people who made their living on Capitol Hill.”

POLITICO Pro editor Tim Grieve works with staffers in the publication’s Arlington, Va. newsroom. POLITICO is starting a new service focused on defense, and Raytheon is sponsoring its launch. [Photo courtesy of POLITICO]

Now POLITICO is applying the same obsessive-compulsive strategy to the Pentagon with a new publication, POLITICO Pro Defense. Raytheon is sponsoring the launch of the new publication and helped organize a Sept. 20 forum at the Newseum in Washington to celebrate its debut.

“Media discussion and analysis have always been important to our industry, and now more so than ever” said Pam Wickham, Raytheon’s vice president of corporate affairs and communications. “We have great regard for POLITICO's stature with our customers and constituents, and are pleased to see an organization of their caliber dedicating a full channel to the defense sector.”

The two companies have been neighbors for years, she noted: POLITICO’s newsroom is in the same Arlington, Va. building as Raytheon’s Washington-based corporate team.

Pro Defense subscribers get a beefed-up version of POLITICO’s Morning Defense newsletter, along with exclusive stories that are emailed throughout the day. The service has five dedicated reporters, with a sixth joining soon, and can draw upon the other 100-plus reporters and editors at POLITICO for help on big stories. Grieve said.

In June, POLITICO used this strategy after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld changes to U.S. health care regulations. The publication put out more than 70 stories in the 36 hours after the decision came down, Grieve said.

Pro Defense readers will see little in the way of traditional war coverage, he said. The new publication will focus more on the behind-the-scenes workings of Washington.

“We’re covering the wars back home, essentially: the budget fights, the procurement battles, the contract disputes,” Grieve said. “We’ll have the political experience of POLITICO’s Capitol Hill reporters and White House reporters, and the policy experience of our defense reporters. I think that’s going to make us pretty unbeatable.”

A reporter works on a story in POLITICO's Arlington, Va. newsroom. [Photo courtesy of POLITICO]


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