One reward for a successful journalism career at The Washington Post might be a move into a different medium, like NBC News. Leigh Ann Caldwell is reversing the dynamic.
Caldwell, who has been with NBC News since 2014, will join The Washington Post as one of the two writers on its morning newsletter, “The Early 202,” as well as an interviewer of newsmakers and Congressional leaders on Washington Post Live, the news outlet’s streaming-video forum. She has covered Capitol Hill for NBC News since 2019, writing articles and appearing on camera on both NBC News programs as well as MSNBC.
While the notion of a journalist working in text and video simultaneously might seem like an aberration, the fact is that the ability to toggle between media venues has fast become de rigueur across the industry. “I would say that it is all reporting,” says Philip Rucker, deputy national editor at The Washington Post, in an interview. The “202” newsletter aims to give readers the details about Washington power centers they need to know in a pre-dawn missive. Meanwhile, says Rucker, “The Washington Post Live interviews are reporting. They are just in a live format where you are asking questions of people in power and holding them accountable.”
A number of prominent TV-news journalists are experimenting with the formats in which they appear. Tom Llamas and Kasie Hunt decamped from ABC News and NBC News last year, respectively, to try their hands at new streaming programs for NBC News Now and CNN Plus.
The Post may best be known as a newspaper, but like many traditional outlets, it is spilling over preconceived boundaries. “We see ourselves as a modern, digital-first news organization,” says Rucker. “I think it speaks volumes to the ambition we have at the Post for journalism across every platform.” Most of the nation’s big newspapers have reorganized themselves around the digital-news cycle, posting stories when they are likely to reach the biggest and most interested audiences, rather than according to the dictates of print production. Newsletters and streaming video have become two elements of many of the outlets’ broader product portfolio — and require new kinds of talent to keep them going..
Before joining NBC News, Caldwell logged stints as a political writer and producer with C-SPAN, CBS News and CNN. She will join Karen Tumulty and Jonathan Capehart, who also appear on Washington Post Live, and she will co-write the “Early 202” column with Theodoric Meyer.