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The Politicker Network, or Politicker.com, was a national network of fifty state-based political websites operated by the New York Observer.
The network had its origins in journalist Ben Smith'sNew York Observer blog, "The Politicker," which focused on New York state politics. Launched in 2005, the original blog became "the most widely read" blog among political circles. It was called the "Best Local Politics Blog" by The Village Voice, who noted the lively comment section. In 2005, failed candidate for the Democratic nomination for Mayor of New York City, Christopher X. Brodeur, was arrested for leaving death threats on Smith's New York Observer voice mail, in retaliation for unflattering coverage in the Politicker blog.
Growth and decline
James Pindell, formerly of The Boston Globe, was hired as National Managing Editor in January 2008.
In December 2008, the network was reduced from 17 to 6 sites, with a focus on the northeast region. By January 2009, the New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania were closed, leaving the network with sites remaining in New York and New Jersey. Those closings effectively ended the national aspirations of the "Politicker" brand.
^"Web suited for the Opinionated Eager To Get Their Words Out There". Albany Times Union. The Times Union, Inc. January 14, 2005. The New York Observer officially launched its own blog this week, The Politicker, written by one of its staff writers, Ben Smith. The column focuses primarily on city politics, and readers can respond to Smith's items, adding their own two cents about all things political.
^"There's no passion in city politics and blogs". Newsday. Newsday Inc. October 10, 2005. And The New York Observer's Politicker has become a clearinghouse for campaign news and a regular stop for politicians and other insiders.
^Micek, John (April 26, 2009). "Check It Out". The Morning Call. Allentown, Pennsylvania. "Dan Hirschorn, last seen as the Philly-based half of the late PolitickerPa.com, has re-emerged with a new Web site, pa2010.com -- a one-stop shop for the latest campaign news. In addition to news and analysis, Hirschorn said the site will include social-networking facets for campaign operatives and junkies.
^Prose, J.D. (January 26, 2009). "Seen & Heard". Beaver County Times. Beaver Newspapers, Inc. PolitickerPa.com has been closed by its parent company, the Politicker Network, which used to run political Web sites in several states. Damn. One less source to do our work for us.[permanent dead link]
^Adams, Helen Colwell (July 20, 2008). "Beiler, Bonusgate And A Bid For Auditor General". Sunday News. Lancaster, Pennsylvania: Lancaster Newspapers, Inc. Archived from the original on July 11, 2012. Of the 50 most influential political people in Pennsylvania, only two have Lancaster County connections. That's according to the Power List 2008 compiled by new political Web site PolitickerPA.com (not to be confused with PoliticsPA.com, although there's a suspicious resemblance). Coming in at No. 20 is Franklin & Marshall College's Dr. G. Terry Madonna, the most quoted pollster/pundit in the Keystone State. At No. 45 is Erik Arneson, a legislative aide to state Senate Majority Leader Dom Pileggi. Arneson, who formerly worked for 48th District Sen. Chip Brightbill, was a deejay for Christian radio station WJTL-FM.