News & Politics

Dafna Linzer Will Leave Politico

Politico announced her hire as executive editor just under a year ago.

Photograph by Flickr user Ted Eytan.

Politico executive editor Dafna Linzer will leave the publication this month, editor-in-chief Matt Kaminski told staffers in an email Thursday. He writes that he and Linzer “have always been aligned on the goal of making POLITICO the world’s premier source of news on politics, policy, and power” but that the pair “saw ourselves diverging over the best way to get there” and began to discuss her departure in December.

The Daily Beast reported late last month that Linzer confronted reporter Marianne LeVine at a Politico event over LeVine’s decision to leave Politico for the Washington Post and “questioned LeVine’s judgment to jump ship and made disparaging remarks about the state of the rival news outlet, according to witnesses, leaving the reporter visibly upset.”

Politico announced Linzer’s hire last March, saying her “appointment is one of the critical steps we are taking this spring to position POLITICO for a great new era.”

Here’s Kaminski’s memo:

Team –

I wanted to share with you the news that Dafna Linzer has decided to leave POLITICO later this month.

In her time with us, Dafna has made important and lasting contributions to the publication – for which we are grateful. She brought great talents to the newsroom. She worked closely with our Washington and politics teams and with our leadership team to shape key pillars of the strategy unveiled in December that we are now working to implement.

The strategy has highlighted the need for our publication to evolve and meet the moment – in the ways that we do things, and in our structures. We have always been aligned on the goal of making POLITICO the world’s premier source of news on politics, policy, and power. But we saw ourselves diverging over the best way to get there. Dafna and I first began discussing the possibility of this move last December.
Dafna’s last day with us will be March 31, 2023.

As we transition, I will work with Dafna and each of the editors that report to her to ensure continuity. We will share additional details about how we will fill the
gap left by her departure in coming days. The most important priority for us as a publication is to make sure you are supported and that we are organized in the best way to focus on the journalism that we have to deliver to achieve ambitious goals.

As executive editor, Dafna has worked with many of you on some of the most impactful journalism we’ve produced in the past year – from the fallout from the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v Wade to the war in Ukraine to the midterm elections. Dafna brought passion and great ideas to these conversations,
not surprisingly for someone with her distinguished record in our profession. She championed the creation of a fully-fledged legal team, just this week naming a new editor to lead it. We have all gotten to know her as a talented journalist who advocates passionately for her ideas and especially for her people.

I want to thank her for her contributions to POLITICO and wish her the best of luck in her next professional chapter.


Linzer sent a memo to staff, too:

All — From the outside, my first days in the newsroom, almost a year ago, looked quiet: POLITICO’s office had only reopened a few weeks earlier and there was almost no one around – just a couple of reporters diligently working on a story. Matt, Peter, Anita, Josh, Alex and myself quickly jumped into the fire together, working on what would become the biggest Supreme Court scoop ever. It was exhilarating to join such a talented team in service of extraordinary journalism.
I am so proud of the work we produced across the publication on Roe and then on the consequences of a post-Roe election. Our midterm coverage was the best in the business, our reporting of the Jan 6th investigations was unrivaled, our national security and defense teams broke story after story on Ukraine and our series on the Supreme Court was award-winning. Our journalism across the board simply flourished in a year of tremendous change for the publication.
This last year has been more rewarding than I could have imagined, bringing in great new talent, promoting so many outstanding POLITICOs across the newsroom to form a new leadership team and developing plans that will take the publication farther, faster into its next phase of life. But the greatest joy has been steering a newsroom of hungry, gritty, passionate journalists whose work reached new heights.
It’s the writers and the editors that drive POLITICO’s success, that define its character and its mission and I am so grateful to have been immersed in that commitment and excellence. I know transitions are hard but I am around for the rest of the month and my door, as ever, is always open.

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.