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Losing A Lynch Pin

(*No Credit)
Last week, CBS News announced Senior Political Editor Dotty Lynch will leave the network at the end of the year. In an e-mail to the news division, Washington Bureau Chief Janet Leissner wrote, in part:
"Over the course of her 20 years with CBS News, Dotty was in charge of political information gathering for 5 Presidential campaigns, 10 national political conventions, 18 Presidential and Vice-Presidential debates and 5 midterm elections. Her unit evolved from being the research arm of the Election Unit to become the central resource for political information at CBS News servicing all TV broadcasts and bureaus, CBS Radio and most recently cbsnews.com. In addition, she has been a member of the CBS News/New York Times polling consortium and joined the Election Night decision desk in 2002 where she hired and managed a team of stringers in key states to be CBS News' eyes and ears on the ground on election night. In 2004 she negotiated the final Presidential primary debate among the Democratic candidates, the first Presidential debate sponsored by CBS News since 1984."
More on Lynch:
"Dotty began her career in politics and journalism at NBC News in 1968 and has been a part of every presidential campaign since then as both a journalist and a political pollster. In the 1980's she developed the concept of the gender gap and is one of the major authorities on the topic of women in politics. In 1983 she opened Lynch Research, a political polling and she has appeared on numerous panels including forums at the Ronald Reagan Library and John F Kennedy Institute of Politics. She has guest lectured at many universities including George Washington University, Georgetown, American University and Johns Hopkins."
Lynch was quoted, saying:
"My years at CBS News have given me an incredible opportunity to view American politics and politicians up close and personal. And after all these years, my passion for politics, media and the role of women in society is as strong as ever."
Lynch is currently working with the Shorenstein Center at Harvard on the issue of women on the Op-Ed page and her "Political Points" column will continue to run on CBSNews.com (and more to come soon). Update: Lynch will head to Cambridge in February to be a fellow at Harvard's John F Kennedy School of Government. She will conduct a study group at the Institute of Politics in the spring semester on the 2006 midterm elections.

Given that the network is losing a longtime political hand, I asked CBS News President Sean McManus what this said about the network's plans for covering Washington and politics. "This does not mean less emphasis on covering Washington," McManus said, adding, "if anything, we're going to be more aggressive." McManus said a team has been built to support political correspondent Gloria Borger and pointed to the network's recent coverage of President Bush's speeches and press conference. "The proof is always in what's on the air" he said. McManus said there is a "re-deployment of resources, not a dampening of resources" happening and said the network would be "ramping up" for election coverage in the future.

Disclosure/Personal Note: In 1995, I was hired at CBS News by Dotty Lynch and then-Political Director Martin Plissner as an associate producer/researcher for the election unit. Much of what I know about TV political coverage I learned from them and is at times reflected in this blog.

Throughout the years that I have known and worked with her, Dotty has been professional, fair and competitive and all bragging aside, possesses a tremendous eye for talent (many of her hires populate the halls of CBS News and other fine institutions). Public Eye will miss having her around the halls of CBS News, but we know she will remain involved in political coverage. We junkies always do.