Roll Call Buying Congressional Quarterly

No plans to eliminate existing publications

WASHINGTON -- The owner of Roll Call is buying Congressional Quarterly in a deal that will bring two well-known publications covering Capitol Hill and Washington politics under the same corporate umbrella.

Terms of the deal, announced Tuesday, were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter.

The combined company, to be called CQ-Roll Call Group, has no plans to eliminate any existing publications.

"All of our products have separate and distinct voices and we intend to keep those separate and distinct voices," said Laurie Battaglia, Roll Call managing director and executive vice president. "Roll Call and CQ are very complementary in nature."

Roll Call is owned by Roll Call Inc., a unit of The Economist Group, a privately held company based in London that also publishes The Economist and CFO magazines.

Congressional Quarterly is currently owned by the Times Publishing Co. of St. Petersburg, Fla., which also publishes the St. Petersburg Times, a daily newspaper in the Tampa Bay area. The Times Publishing Co. is owned by the nonprofit Poynter Institute for Media Studies in St. Petersburg.

Roll Call and CQ play very different roles in the small world inside the Beltway, but are political news outlets considered must-reads by lawmakers, policy makers and lobbyists.

Founded in 1945, CQ provides extensive coverage of the inner workings and procedural mechanics of Congress -- tracking bills throughout the legislative process, following the annual rite of crafting a federal budget and positioning itself as the publication of record for Capitol Hill.

With roughly 300 employees, including 160 reporters, editors and researchers, the company puts out a weekly magazine, a daily newsletter, an online news service and a number of specialty publications. Congressional Quarterly also publishes Governing Magazine, which covers state and local governments and will remain with the Times Publishing Co.

Founded in 1955, Roll Call has a somewhat different focus -- examining the special interests behind big policy battles, political campaigns and the administration as well as Congress. Roll Call describes its mission as covering the "people, politics and personalities that drive the legislative process."

With roughly 175 employees, Roll Call publishes a daily newspaper and a legislative wire service called CongressNow. It also owns Capitol Advantage, which publishes a directory of Congressional staffers and provides online communications tools for lobbyists.

Roll Call and CQ compete with a handful of other Washington-based political news organizations. Those include National Journal Group, which publishes its own magazine and a newspaper called CongressDaily, as well as Politico and The Hill newspapers.

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