Introducing Early And Often


September 18, 2010

This weekend is the launch of something I first started
thinking about five years ago: A subscription-based Chicago political news site
written by real, experienced journalists. EarlyAndOften.org, powered by the
Chicago News Cooperative.

You should subscribe now – for $150 you’ll get an
unbelievable amount of information between now the run-off election on April 5,
2011.

I can’t even begin to express how excited I am to see this
happen.

Aside from the short-term dream of realizing this project,
I’ve wanted to create a major metropolitan news publication ever since editing
my college newspaper. This is big for me.

The first credit for making this happen needs to go to Jimm
Dispensa. He first created Aldertrack in 2007, on which much of our effort has
been based. When I met with Jimm last winter to talk about restarting
Aldertrack for 2011, he let me glom onto his project and turn it into something
different. Despite all the struggles that come with a project like this, Jimm
gave me his full confidence throughout the process. Most importantly he
believed that I wasn’t a nut bag.

Whatta guy.

The second pile of credit needs to go to the leadership at
Chicago News Cooperative: Jim O’Shea, Jim Kirk and the unfortunate object of my
constant phone calls, CNC Business Manager David Greising. They not only
immediately understood how the concept would work but also how it could help
CNC grow. They took complete ownership of the idea and got excited about how
they could deliver excellent editorial content to people who wanted it.

I first proposed this idea to CNC three months ago. In that
time we fleshed out the idea, built a site, determined our editorial content
and our target audience. Then all of a sudden, Mayor Daley announced he wasn’t
running for reelection — the intensity and importance of the project only
increased. In almost three weeks we’ll launch the site.

CNC has made clear-headed decisions, got behind them and
moved fast. This is the kind of entrepreneurialism journalism needs to thrive.

Finally, the most credit should go to my wife, Teresa. She
tolerates me and hones me. Everything I am and do is better because of her.
There is more I could say, but it would embarrass her too much and could never
explain the fullness of how important she is to me. Thanks for everything.

A coda: The start of this project means the end of another.
I’m officially closing up Purely Political Consulting, Inc. Being a political
consultant and working in news media doesn’t mix well. I had a great fifteen years working in politics, but like so many friends, I realized that there needed to be something that came after politics.