The Cutline

TPM hires The Hill’s Crabtree, plans D.C. expansion

The Cutline

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Talking Points Memo expanding

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Talking Points Memo is preparing for a significant expansion in 2011, including plans to roughly double the size of the political news site's Washington, D.C., bureau by the end of the year.

To kick things off, TPM has hired The Hill's Susan Crabtree as a reporter and senior editor. She'll work with managing editor David Kurtz on expanding the five-person D.C. bureau, which opened in Sept. 2009.

TPM editor and publisher Josh Marshall, who's based in the New York City headquarters, spoke to The Cutline about how Crabtree fits into the site's D.C. plans.

"It's critical for us to have someone with her experience covering Washington, her sources, her knowledge of how the city works, to build out our D.C. team," Marshall said.

Although Crabtree's primary responsibility will be reporting, Marshall said she'll also help mentor journalists with less experience covering Washington. The latest hire is another indication that Marshall is committed to building TPM into a larger news operation.

Marshall, who launched TPM as a one-man, left-of-center blog 10 years ago, has spent the past few years adding editors, reporters and business-side staffers. Crabtree will be TPM's 20th staffer, he said, adding that "quite a few more" are on the way.

Marshall said that he'll have a "more detailed announcement" on TPM's expansion plans early next month.

Currently, TPM operates at a profit, according to Marshall. And the site's operating revenue comes from advertising.

But TPM also started bringing in outside investors to help expand the site in July 2009. Marc Andreessen, the Netscape co-founder and investor in several startups, led an initial round of investment in the $500,000 to $1 million range.

Correction: Text fixed to make clear that TPM's operating revenue comes from advertising, not outside funding sources. Recent investments in TPM will go toward expanding the site.

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