New editor takes the helm at 1105 GIG

It might be presumptuous to assume anything that happens internally at a business-to-business publication rises to the level of Buzz of the Week. However, a number of news organizations and blogs have reported on the chain of events that began in August when Federal Computer Week’s editor-in-chief left, so it seems appropriate to note that we have hired a new editor of FCW, who will also serve as our editorial director, the person responsible for all our content in print and online.


David Rapp joins us after a short career as an Internet entrepreneur and a long career at Congressional Quarterly. We think both experiences are valuable to the job he is about to begin.


A Washingtonjournalist since 1985, Rapp came up through the ranks of Congressional Quarterly Inc., starting as a reporter covering agriculture, eventually rising to editor of new media, and ultimately serving as the company’s top editorial executive from 1997 through 2006. During that period, he oversaw the creation and development of the award-winning, the legislative tracking service. He also led the redesign and repositioning of CQ’s flagship print products — CQ Today and CQ Weekly — and the development and launch of several e-newsletters.


He left CQ in January 2007 to start his own publishing company and in October of that year launched, a network of special- interest travel blogs.


Steve Kelman, former administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy and currently a professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and an FCW columnist and blogger, said in a blog post in September that he hoped that as I considered candidates that I would keep in mind that FCW was “a unique voice in the government management world, a voice whose strong direction it is vital to maintain.” I took that charge very seriously, and I believe we have found the voice to continue the direction.

Rapp understands government, technology and publishing.

We both believe that the new administration is going to transform government through the use of technology — moving from an internal focus on systems to an external focus on delivery of services. That is a story that all the publications in the 1105 Government Information Group have been following for a good while. But a sea change is about to occur. We welcome Rapp to lead the coverage of that change.

And another staff note: Several news reports have indicated that Editor John Monroe was leaving to attend seminary.

We’d like to clarify that while he will be attending seminary, he will do so part time. Monroe, who has been with FCW for more than 15 years, will continue to work on the publication at a slightly reduced schedule.

— Anne Armstong, Publisher and President of 1105 Government Information Group


No. 2: Yoo-hoo, Mr. Obama …, the Web site that the Obama transition team established to provide news and updates on the new administration’s preparations, has launched a new page called “Open for Questions.” People can submit questions and suggestions to the team, and the team promises to answer some of the “most popular” questions, as selected by a vote of the community.

We’re hoping they will be serious questions about public policy, foreign relations and alternative fuels. But we’re worried that a lot of people are more interested in who the new president likes on “American Idol.”

No. 3: Going to Towns

Edolphus Towns. The name carries a sort of Old Worldelegance, evoking images of top hats and canes, shiny wingtips and tails.

Soon, however, those images are likely to fade in favor of debates over acquisition policy, legislation and reports.

It’s a lot less evocative, but such is the lot of Rep. Towns (D-N.Y.), the incoming chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Time will tell if his name will eventually gain the cachet of Henry Waxman or Tom Davis in government reform circles.

But it certainly has a nice ring to it.


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