October 10, 2017 Last Updated 10:08 am

Ben Pershing promoted to editor of Atlantic Media’s National Journal

Stephen G. Smith, the current editor, will step down at the end of the year and become senior editor for Atlantic Media

Washington, DC — October 10, 2017 – Stephen G. Smith will step down as editor in chief of National Journal at the end of the year and become senior editor for Atlantic Media, focusing on special editorial projects for the parent company.  Managing Editor Ben Pershing will assume Smith’s duties as editor of the company’s editorial products, National Journal Daily and Hotline.  Kevin Turpin, National Journal president, announced the changes today.

Smith was editor of National Journal when David G. Bradley, Chairman of Atlantic Media, purchased the company in 1997.  Bradley asked Smith to return two years ago to lead the company through a transition that has since produced new products and grown revenue year over year.

“I don’t know that my colleagues know how deeply I’ve come to trust and respect Steve Smith over the last two decades,” said Bradley.  “Steve was the first editor I met – and then only when he brought National Journal to me for possible purchase.  He was the first editor with whom I worked after entering media.  And, he is the editor to whom I’ve turned, twice now, when faced with challenges to our National Journal publications.  He is an exquisite talent who, in the event, has never let us down.”

Smith returned to National Journal as the business transitioned to focus on providing premium content and research to National Journal’s subscribers, the government affairs community, and Washington leadership across Capitol Hill and the federal government.  With Pershing, Smith led comprehensive print and digital redesigns of National Journal Daily, the brand’s daily provider of news, analysis, and insights to help set the daily agendas for NJ readers.

It’s been a happy adventure working with our talented staff to reinvent National Journal, both in print and online. A special pleasure was having Ben as my partner. He’s a natural leader and a superb journalist with a thorough understanding of Congress and Washington’s important institutions,” Smith said.

Pershing will continue to oversee the Daily as well as Hotline, which covers politics and elections more comprehensively than any other publication. Working with him will be Hotline Editor Kyle Trygstad and Senior Editor Jeff Dufour, as well as a Policy Editor he will hire by the end of the year.

“I’ve learned a tremendous amount working with Steve these last two years, and am thrilled to know he will still be here at Atlantic Media so I can continue to rely on his wise counsel and friendship,” Pershing said. “We’re fortunate to have an exceptional team of journalists working in our newsroom, and we’re all looking forward to the challenge of covering a crucial year in Congress and on the campaign trail.”

Pershing joined National Journal in 2014 as Washington editor and was promoted to managing editor in 2015 when Smith returned to the newsroom.  Before National Journal, Pershing spent six years as a staff writer at the Washington Post covering Congress as well as local and national campaigns. He previously worked for a decade at the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call as a reporter and editor.

Before returning to National Journal, Smith was editor of The Washington Examiner from 2006 to 2014. Immediately before joining the Examiner, Smith spent three years as Washington bureau chief for the Houston Chronicle. After his first tour as editor of National Journal, he was editor of U.S. News & World Report, becoming the only journalist to hold senior-level editing positions at all three American news magazines. He was previously executive editor of Newsweek and nation editor of Time.

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