Jim VandeHei, executive editor of Politico - the bible for policy wonks and election fanatics - has his sights set on TV. VandeHei is planning to launch a Sunday morning talk show called Politico TV. In the beginning, it will air only in a few markets – Birmingham, AL, Harrisburg, PA, Little Rock, AR, Tulsa, OK, Roanoke, VA, and Charleston, SC – the minor leagues of politics. Yet the show could eventually serve as a lead-in to This Week with George Stephanopoulos in the same way that The Chris Matthews Show does for Meet the Press, according to Observer reporter Felix Gillette.Not shy when launching Politico in 2007, VandeHei told the New York Observer in 2006,“I think we’ll show that we’re better than The New York Times or the Washington Post.
“When we think of Politico, we’re always talking about, well, it would be nice to build the ESPN of politics,” VandeHei said. “I think part of that would be treating politics like sports, blending in more stats, dusting down the numbers and getting inside the strategy.”
Of course, ESPN wasn’t always ESPN. At one time, it was a small sports network – based in Connecticut of all places – showing professional wrestling reruns. Maybe two decades from now, fanatics will be eating hot wings and watching election results at the Politico Zone restaurant in Times Square.