July 21, 2009

Roll Call to buy Congressional Quarterly

Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call will buy Washington competitor Congressional Quarterly from Florida's Times Publishing Co., the companies said Tuesday.

The deal, whose terms weren't disclosed, will create a new company called CQ-Roll Call Group.

The CQ-Roll Call Group intends to maintain each company's unique editorial voice, and thus there are no current plans to eliminate any products, the companies said in a statement.

Mike Mills, Roll Call's editorial director, will oversee the combined news operations and the great majority of the CQ staff will join the merged organization, the statement said.

The companies did not say if they would combine operations or eliminate overlapping jobs.

The deal is expected to close by September.

The merger creates a Capitol Hill powerhouse with two of the Beltway's most-watched publications in a competitive field that also includes The Hill, Politico and National Journal.

Roll Call, founded in 1955, was bought by the Economist Group, publisher of the namesake magazine, in 1992. Times Publishing owns the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times and is itself owned by the non-profit Poynter Institute for Media Studies, a St. Petersburg journalism school and resource.

Roll Call Group, of which Roll Call is the flagship publication, also operates GalleryWatch, an online legislative tracking service, and CongressNow, an online newsletter covering Capitol Hill policy and legislation.