CQ Roll Call Reviews | Glassdoor

CQ Roll Call Reviews

Updated March 22, 2017
59 reviews

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2.2
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Paul McHale
22 Ratings

59 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Constant restructuring, no stability and high turnover (in 4 reviews)

  • which to this day no one really understands why we have it) (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "In transition"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Journalist in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Journalist in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at CQ Roll Call full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    You have the opportunity to work with some of the smartest, most dedicated reporters on the Hill.
    We also are in transition because a former manager who was difficult has left. So the future is brighter than in the past couple years.

    Cons

    We are a medium-sized company.


  2. "Stay Away if you are looking for a Career with longevity"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at CQ Roll Call full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Used to be the standard bearer in news and information on the Hill; still some great minds there and - at least for now - a semblance of the brand it had before.

    Cons

    They have gutted their tech team, sales and accounts teams, advertising, finance, systems admins and more. They are offshoring their business operations to India and have been swindling customers with fake prices for years. Very unethical business practices in their pricing for clients - I have heard of clients paying $3000-$30000 for the same services. All the technologies they have acquired are on antiquated and disparate platforms which don't talk to each other and constantly have issues they never will resolve. Everyone there is a NUMBER; they don't care how long you have been there or to what extent you have contributed.

    Advice to Management

    None - they will continue to do what they want because they have been warned a million times before; they don't care. It's a sinking ship and they still believe the buckets they are using to bail themselves will be the long term solution.


  3. "Editor"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Editor in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Editor in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    It's a very professional publication with a storied history and a reputation that exceeds its circulation.
    It has a lot of talented journalists, who work hard to get good, accurate stories.
    It has tried to maintain much of its editorial strength in a climate where advertising is lessening.

    Cons

    Like all newspapers, it is a shadow of its former self.
    Small budgets allow little if any enterprise journalism.
    Roll Call is a cash loser who is draining the life of the once profitable CQ. Like pirates taking over a boat of rescue aid for a disaster country, the staff has emptied out CQ's provisions into the sea, just because they were curious to hear what sound these resources made as they hit the water.

    Advice to Management

    Build a business plan off of CQ and make profits again. Otherwise, the paper will indeed fold as predicted by the EIC a few years ago.


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  5. "Copy Editor"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Copy Editor in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Copy Editor in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at CQ Roll Call full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great working environment, great people, nice building with a great location near the metro, most importantly: does good, important work

    Cons

    Falling prey to the journalism industry did the office no favors, morale suffered as more and more cuts came

    Advice to Management

    Value your employees more by being up front with them about the company's financial situation. On the whole, lower level management was always fantastic, but upper level management mostly kept everyone in the dark


  6. "Are you up for a challenge?"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Researcher in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Senior Researcher in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at CQ Roll Call full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Smart collegial co-workers. Long history of balanced, deeply thoughtful and well-researched journalism. Steep but rewarding learning curve.

    Cons

    Understaffed for what the company is trying to achieve. You need a plan for work/life balance. Don't allow yourself to burn out or agree to mission creep. It is management's responsibility to hire enough people and train them properly in order to cover their expectations.

    Advice to Management

    Invest is training and employee retention. This is not a start-up and seat-of-the-pants management is counterproductive. The highly skilled and committed staff deserves better.


  7. "A company past its prime"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director of Client Relationships in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Director of Client Relationships in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at CQ Roll Call full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    There were some good people at CQ Roll Call. Early on, we were doing good work, helping people understand and communicate with Congress.

    Cons

    The company leadership didn't know what direction to take the company. Under orders from their headquarters in London to make the same return, they cut salary and stopped investment of the product. It is rudderless and lost its way.

    Advice to Management

    Remember who the company is - the community newspaper on Capitol Hill and stop trying to be something else.


  8. "Great place to grow but not for the long-term"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Staff Writer in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Staff Writer in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at CQ Roll Call (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    CQ is a great company to work for if you're looking to continue building your expertise in a policy subject. Overall, everyone in the newsroom is incredibly smart and helpful. People are great at their jobs and it was nice to be in a newsroom where the editors and reporters strived to do the best work possible. CQRC is a media company trying to navigate new waters but readers overall have a respect and for the most part, admiration, for the quality coverage. The staff has been able to still do great work despite the tension about how the company is doing and being perceived by other members of the media.

    Cons

    While CQ is a great place to work the salary is just not competitive. Annual performance raises really don't help with D.C. living expenses and trying to negotiate once you're in the company is more of a hassle and headache than a dignified process. Essentially, if you're considering an offer from the company ask for as much as possible before coming in because you'll likely not see much more money after that. The vacation time is generous for starting out (15 days) but it's a toss-up on how easily you'll be able to take time off without some kind of hesitancy.

    Upper management has a habit of uprooting people from teams without warning or a true vision of the reason behind the move. It's not uncommon for someone to be pulled into a meeting and walk out with a new job that they didn't ask for or want. The company has been working on helping employees come up with goals but it's questionable if anyone in upper management bothers to actually look at them and try to align people with their goals as opposed to what would be best for the bottom line. There's minimal opportunity for growth in the company and it seems as if upper management has given up on trying to think outside of the box of what new opportunities could look like in the changing media landscape. This is sad as there are lots of brilliant people in the office with untapped potential.

    The company is trying to "reinvent" itself but it would be a miracle to find more than two people outside of the business side who could accurately explain initiatives the company is undertaking (a shining example is CQ+, which to this day no one really understands why we have it). The company has said it is committed to improving technology in the newsroom. However, while some have complained about back and shoulder problems with the heaviness of bulky, slow laptops that they had to haul up to the Hill, the company invested thousands of dollars into developing a makeshift podcast studio. The podcasts do not get a very wide listener audience and the company never explained if this is an actual revenue opportunity or a hobby to make the company look as if they're with the times.

    The newsroom is also one of the last to be close to the Hill and it's going to move next year to downtown. While upper management has tried to build excitement for the move, many employees are working on trying to find new opportunities elsewhere before then. The current space already has everyone crammed together and the new office will be even smaller. Mathematically, there will be even less desk space available and management has not been clear if this is meant to encourage employees to telework from home or on the hill or if it's meant to passive aggressively push people out. With it being further into the city, commutes will be longer and some may even have to start driving in. Management has not said anything about increasing commuter benefits in light of the move.

    Advice to Management

    Stop being willfully ignorant about the true temperature of your employees and how they feel about you. Just because employees aren't storming your office doesn't mean that there aren't problems with management that needs to be addressed. People would be inclined to speak up if they didn't fear some kind of psychological retribution or no raise the following year. Being receptive to feedback and implementing employee ideas would also be a start. You talk often about how talented the employees are, start acting like they can bring quality, sustainable ideas to the table. Despite the many emails and staff meetings you have, you're still suffering from poor communication and Au Bon Pain catering will not solve that problem. Communication is about being consistent and it just seems as if no one in management ever seems to know what is going on or how to get certain things in the office done. Stop being quick to pawn employees off on other employees and find things out for yourself so you can answer questions as they arise.


  9. "Titanic"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at CQ Roll Call (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    There were some fantastic people working here when I started. Talented, smart, and extremely helpful, the atmosphere was fantastic. The team mentality was strong and wonderful to be a pat of. The technology department did utterly amazing things with a lean staff. The people were the reason to stay.

    Cons

    All of the pros have been decimated by upper management's lust for cost-cutting.
    CQ Roll Call is the Titanic and sinking fast. The technology department, quickly went from lean to sickly, to beyond skeleton. Now, they are outsourcing some of the technology work overseas.

    There is no overall vision for the company other than cut costs. Internal power struggles and political battles are literally dividing the house. The editorial department has half of the technology department, and people are leaving. They're not getting replaced, so the workload on the remaining staff increases each time.

    Stay away from this one unless you want to watch a total dumpster-fire from the inside out.

    Advice to Management

    Sit back and sip a cocktail while the ship sinks. Keep doing what you're doing, it's working very well guys.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Once-glorious institution ruined by new management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Reporter in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Reporter in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at CQ Roll Call full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    If you need a job in journalism in D.C. and any job will do, then CQ Roll Call can offer that. It has a storied name -- both CQ and Roll Call are Washington institutions.

    Cons

    It's been sad to see how this news organization has been gutted and given incompetent, mean-spirited leadership. They'll fire you at the drop of a hat if you get on the boss's "bad side," and they'll mess with you in the meantime. The deputies all emulate the top man's ruthless, manipulative style. The management thinks it's smarter than it is, which makes it worse; all they do is emulate the trendiest ideas in journalism from a year or two before.

    Advice to Management

    Stop being sadists?


  11. Helpful (3)

    "Senior writer/editor"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Editor in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Senior Editor in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Knowledgeable and helpful colleagues, high journalistic standards, great place to gain a granular knowledge of Congress,

    Cons

    Owners are demanding unrealistic profit margins in a market where CQ-Roll Call no longer is the sole provider of congressional intelligence. As a result, people with institutional knowledge (and higher salaries) have either been forced out or left on their own. Staff is down to skeleton levels, requiring long hours for low pay. The place has a well-deserved reputation as a sweatshop. Also, the top guy openly has favorites. Overall vision from the top is lacking. The focus of CQ was always Congress. Its reputation for accuracy was so stellar that congressional offices, the administration and news organizations like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal depended on it. Now, the combination of a reduced staff and a focus on news beyond Capitol Hill has weakened CQ's reputation.

    Advice to Management

    Return to CQ's original mission of covering Congress. You don't have the staff to compete with bigger news organizations in coverage of non-Congress news. And dial down your expectations for profit in a market where Politico and Bloomberg are serious competitors.


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