John Heilemann, John Battelle launch new politics-focused media outlet

Posted at 9:28 PM, Jul 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-29 23:28:31-04

Journalists John Heilemann and John Battelle have launched a new politics-focused media outlet ahead of the 2020 elections.

The outlet, called The Recount, will be video-driven, featuring short videos that summarize what is happening in the news.

In an email to supporters announcing the new outlet, Battelle described one daily video the organization has been producing as a “unique mashup of each day’s reporting and commentary” designed “to make you smart about the stories that matter … in five minutes or less.”

The idea for The Recount was hatched in late 2018, a spokesperson for the organization said, but Heilemann and Battelle started seriously ramping up and recruiting staffers in the Spring. So far, more than a dozen employees have been hired to work at the company.

“We started developing it because we were hungry for something we couldn’t find in the current media landscape: a place featuring political news and analysis that’s easy to access and watch on the go; that’s concise, intelligent, and entertaining; and that doesn’t waste your time or bury you in b——t or bad faith,” Battelle said in his email.

The company is backed by outside investors, but a spokesperson for the organization declined to name them on Monday.

Until now, the content produced by The Recount had only been sent by email to a private invite-only group.

But on Monday night, just ahead of CNN’s pair of Democratic debates, the website and its corresponding social media channels will begin to go live. The idea is to capitalize off the buzz surrounding the debates to generate interest.

Battelle and Heilemann first met at Wired magazine. Battelle had helped start the publication, and Heilemann served as a staff writer.

Since then, the two have had successful careers in journalism: Battelle more on the management side, and Heilemann as a politics reporter.

Heilemann, who previously worked for Bloomberg News, currently stars in the Showtime show “The Circus” and previously co-authored the hit “Game Change” books about the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections.