Washington, D.C. – Political reporter Dave Catanese who gained statewide notoriety during his time at KY3 in Springfield has left the Washington D.C. news outlet Politico. Contrary to Washington D.C. media gossip site www.mediabistro.com’s Fishbowl D.C. report Catanese says he is leaving Politico with many friends and a debt of gratitude to the organization for making him a better reporter.
“Any negative connotation given to the letter I left on my last day is vastly manipulated,” Catanese said.” I owe a debt of gratitude to the people at Politico who hired me and gave me the opportunity work in this exciting environment.”
Catanese’s letter thanked some of his co-workers, specifically Charlie Mahtesian and Mike Zapler. While Catanese singled out these for thanks, he took issue with the website’s contention that he was taking “veiled shots” at others. “I knew the letter would be leaked out, I mean this is the media,” Catanese said. “However, people who know me know I am a straight shooter. If I had wanted to take any shots — first of all they wouldn’t have been veiled — and second you wouldn’t have to decipher or interpret them. None of that was in the letter, and it certainly wasn’t my intention. It’s just not there.”
When asked about Politico’s reaction to the controversy surrounding a tweet Catanese sent after Todd Akin’s rape comments went viral, Catanese offered a candid response, “Look there were obviously some bumpy times there around the Akin deal, but in the end none of that was really a factor.” After the tweet, leading Missouri journalist and St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial page editor Tony Messenger wrote, “Really, Dave was just thinking out loud. Today’s media world doesn’t let him do that. Today, if we were cracking “Seinfeld” jokes in the privacy of a TV studio, it would wind up on YouTube.”
When asked why he chose to leave Politico, Catanese said he felt it was time for a change. “I really just felt it was time to do something else. I want to take some time and evaluate what the next step in my career is that I can enjoy be passionate about.” When asked if he feels his future lies in political reporting or if he is looking to change careers Catanese told The Missouri Times, “I definitely have a passion for political journalism, but I have other passions as well. I want to take this time and really evaluate my next move and make sure it is the right situation for me”.
Two sources confirm that in the 36 hours since Catanese’s departure from Politico became public he received offers from other media outlets. “I have had a few people reach out and I have a few meetings, but I am going to take my time and make the best decision for me,” Catanese said.
One option Catanese isn’t optimistic about is a return to Missouri. “I really don’t think that my future lies in a return to Missouri, but you never know.” Jane Dueker, former Chief of Staff to Governor Bob Holden, speculated on Catanese future, “He may not come back to the state, but he is a very talented journalist whose services will no doubt be in high demand.”
The Missouri Times president Rod Jetton, a former Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives, commented, “Dave Catanese was one of the most talented journalist in the state, and I believe his time at Politico has developed his skills into those of a world class journalist. I am eager to see what he applies his talents to next.”
Catanese concluded, “I am really grateful for my time at Politico, but I am even more excited about what is next in my career.” Below is a copy of the letter Catanese wrote on his final day with Politico.
A few notes of thanks as I wrap up my final day at Politico:
First and foremost, thanks to Charlie Mahtesian for plucking me out of the fields of southwest Missouri and giving me my shot in the big leagues in an entirely different medium. While his edits could be exhausting, they were always done with the best intentions and I became a better writer and a smarter reporter because of his guidance.
Thanks to Mike Zapler for offering a steady hand on the ship when things got chaotic. His ability to sharpen a sentence quickly and move copy to the homepage swiftly was always appreciated, especially when on the road. It’s nice to see one of the good guys receive a well-deserved promotion.
Finally, thanks to JMart for being extremely generous with sources, introductions and even scoops — particularly at the beginning of my time here. Here’s to a D.C. big dog that’s also a true team player.