News & Politics

Mike Allen’s Last Playbook Is on Sunday

Allen, Politico national security editor Bryan Bender, and US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter at a Playbook breakfast in March. Photograph by US Army Sgt. First Class Clydell Kinchen; via Flickr user Ash Carter.

This Sunday, your inbox will host one final Mike Allen-written Playbook. The Politico reporter is leaving the publication to join his former boss, Jim VandeHei, in a yet-to-be-announced new publication. Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman are ready to take over the daily newsletter Monday; they’ll write it with Allen’s current coauthor, Daniel Lippman.

The temptation here is to write something in Playbook style, but 1: No; and 2) Let’s just pause and note the cultural moment. Allen sent the first Playbook on June 25, 2007, a collection of news “available by automatic e-mail, giving you a handy, BlackBerry and Treo-friendly peek at the news driving each day.” It has since grown to become a staple of early-morning Washington reading that reportedly now delivers $3 million in advertising per year as well as questions about the “adoring coverage” advertisers receive.

Allen worked at Time and quite a few popular East Coast newspapers before Politico. This publication described him as an “old hand” when Politico launched, and Playbook helped him become, as the New York Times called him in 2010, “The Man the White House Wakes Up To.” And now–he’s leaving. So Mike, what do you have planned for the last edition?

“I plan to lead with what’s hot, as always,” he writes in an email, “then will thank Robert Allbritton, who made it all possible; co-founder John Harris; Daniel Lippman, my indispensable partner in Playbook; my amazing Politico colleagues; my successors, Jake Sherman, Anna Palmer and Daniel; and — most all all — Playbook readers, the world’s most attentive, informed and enviable audience.”

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. He lives in Del Ray.