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NYSNYS NEWS INSIDE THE LCA: Newspaper reporters now a minority in the LCA. New reporters hired, one fired. Politico reporter goes to Law Journal.
NYSNYS News
By Kyle Hughes
NYSNYS News


ALBANY, N.Y. (July 25) -- The majority of the names on latest LCA roster are not working for newspapers. A shakeup hits City & State. TV and radio changes announced. Politico reporter quits.

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Newspaper reporters now a minority in LCA

The latest roster of LCA members or other Capitol reporters who are listed in the LCA directory totals 46. Of those, 21 are covering Albany for traditional newspaper media outlets. Another dozen are from TV and radio outlets. The rest are new media operations and outlets whose primary readers are lobbyists and political operatives.

For perhaps the first time ever, the LCA did not publish a directory this year, but you can see the list of reporters at www.lcapressroom.com, part of NYSNYS News.

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City & State reporter out

Ashley Hupfl, who has been the LCA reporter for the political news website and event promoter City & State since 2015, was fired on Friday, June 23. She got the bad news just after completing the final installment of her weekly "winners and losers" radio report on the Susan Arbetter show.

"Hello everyone, I was just informed that City & State is eliminating my position and am out of a job," she wrote in an email blast a half hour after the show wrapped. She elaborated on Twitter: "Effective immediately I am no longer working for City & State. To my reporter colleagues if anyone hears of any job leads, Id appreciate it."

The following Monday, City & State announced the hiring of a new reporter whose assignment will include Albany coverage.

"City & State has hired Frank G. Runyeon as senior reporter, a new full-time staff position focused primarily on coverage of state politics and government with an emphasis on in-depth features and investigative reporting," the outlet announced.

"A regular contributor for City & State and its sister publication, New York Nonprofit Media, Runyeon won several top New York Press Association awards in 2016, including the coveted feature story award for his profile of state Sen. Simcha Felder. Runyeon garnered a third place prize for his three-part "Failing Health" series on abuse and neglect in nursing homes in New York."

Hupfl is a SUNY Albany graduate and former Gannett intern who was hired by City & State in September 2014 to replace Matt Hamilton, who quit for a job at the Times Union. Since her firing, City & State Editor-in-Chief Jon Lentz has taken up the weekly task of drawing up the list of "winners and losers."

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New "Capitol Pressroom" producer

Speaking of Susan Arbetter, she has a new producer on board for her daily radio show, "The Capitol Pressroom."

He is Timothy Williams. He replaces Alyssa Plock, who resigned to work on a new project -- a feature film.

Willliams recently graduated from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, where he studied Political Science and Sociology. While at MCLA, Tim was the Executive Producer and Station Manager at WJJW-FM, the college's radio station.

Arbetter took time off from asking questions to take some recently. She was interviewed by David Lombardo of StateWatch NY for its "Poozer Politics" podcast. [CLICK HERE] to hear the call-in interview.

Statewatch, whose staffers were voted in as LCA members a few years ago, says it is "an unmatched combination of comprehensive data, analytical tools, real-time entry, broad-spectrum delivery, and experience that provides the most innovative lobbying tool to the legislative professionals of New York."

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New LCA TV reporter

Morgan Mckay (who is said to pronounce her last name like "McKey") is the new LCA reporter for the Nexstar TV station chain, replacing Nick Perreault, whose contract ended after the 2017 session finished.

Nexstar stations include WTEN in Albany, along with stations in Buffalo, Binghamton, Elmira, Rochester, Syracuse, Watertown, and Utica.

"Morgan came to New York from Bozeman, MT where she grew up and also took her first reporting job," says her bio published this week on Nexstar's WROC-TV website. "She is pretty familiar with snow and is used to reporting in blizzards, including one time when she climbed walls of ice with a GoPro."

"She covered city politics while in Bozeman and her most notable stories were while covering the congressional election involving Greg Gianforte, which gained national attention. She also covered city commission each week, where she fell in love with political reporting. Morgan says the reason she has such a passion for these types of stories is because she likes to help break down hard to understand issues and explain how they will be directly affecting you as a resident in New York."

Mckay graduated from Biola University, an evangelical Christian college in Los Angeles, where she studied Journalism and Integrated Media with an emphasis in Broadcast.

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Politico reporter jumps to traditional media outlet

Josefa Velazquez has quit Politico NY after three years to join the New York Law Journal. She also claimed the former Cuyler News Service office opened after the December death of longtime Capitol reporter Betty Flood.

Velazquez won the LCA Jay Gallagher award this year for a story on sexual harassment in the state Assembly.

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