Political blogger Jason Tolbert and new blogger Michael Cook will combine their unique skills with TalkBusiness.net beginning in July 2011.
Tolbert, a conservative blogger who manages The Tolbert Report (www.TolbertReport.com), will move his blog to Talk Business and expand his role in Arkansas political reporting.
Cook, former chief of staff to ex-Lt. Gov. Bill Halter and past executive director for the Democratic Party of Arkansas, will launch a new blog that will promote more centrist and progressive viewpoints.
"Jason has carved out a unique niche in citizen journalism in Arkansas politics and I feel very confident that Michael will quickly do the same," said Talk Business & Politics executive editor Roby Brock. "I have known and collaborated with both men extensively for years and I’m looking forward to showcasing their talents through a new blend of reporting, analysis, and opinion."
Tolbert and Cook will work on stories unique to their political perspectives as well as jointly report on issues of a bipartisan nature. They will also have freedom to explore other subjects of personal interest on their blogs.
Cook, a political consultant, has worked in scores of political campaigns at the local, state and federal level, including the "Clinton for President" campaign in 1992. A U.S. Army Reserves veteran, Cook is a nationally recognized trainer of campaign staff and candidates and has years of experience in campaign messaging, fundraising, and opposition research.
Tolbert, a CPA, has been the original reporter of a number of Arkansas political stories, including a Congressional redistricting controversy at the end of the regular Arkansas legislative session that would have potentially left precincts out of a final map.
"I am excited about the synergy that will be created by combining our work. Our readers will benefit by having a one-stop website to get Arkansas political news from across the spectrum," said Tolbert.
"For quite some time, I’ve wanted to start a blog that talked about Arkansas politics and culture and I’m elated to finally have that opportunity. I enjoy healthy and civil debates and this new blog partnership allows us to discuss and debate important issues. I don’t think there’s another blog like it in Arkansas," said Cook.
In July, TalkBusiness.net and TolbertReport.com will unite under the Talk Business banner. Cook will launch his new blog at TalkBusiness.net. The combined web sites will offer news readers a "3-for-1" stop for original Arkansas political reporting and opinion.
Cook and Tolbert will also provide additional reports, analysis and debate through Talk Business’ multi-media platforms of TV, radio, Internet, and social media. You can view the announcement from Talk Business’ Roby Brock below.