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Host | Creator | Executive Producer

The Circus

"If you're an aspiring journalist or content-merchant of any stripe (reporter/correspondent, documentarian, author, publisher/entrepreneur) in any quadrant of the business (tv, digital, print, hybrid) with most any topical focus (politics, culture, business, tech) at one time or another over the past 30-plus years, I've been there and done that — sometimes even successfully! I can't promise you a rose garden, a magic bullet, or an easy glide path, none of which exists any more in the journalism racket (if they ever did). But I can help you comprehend, navigate, and chart a path through the fast-shifting/challenging/maddening/exhilarating landscape that we call 21st Century media."

John Heilemann is a host, creator, and executive producer of Showtime’s Emmy-nominated political documentary series The Circus, national affairs analyst for NBC News and MSNBC, and host of the Hell & High Water podcast. Earlier this year, he launched Hat Size 3 Media, in partnership with acclaimed TV production company Left/Right (The Circus, This American Life, The New York Times Presents), to develop unscripted/documentary projects at the intersection of politics, culture, history, and current affairs.

Heilemann is the co-author of Game Change and Double Down, about the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, and author of Pride Before The Fall, about the Microsoft antitrust case. All three books were New York Times bestsellers; Game Change held the No. 1 spot for 11 weeks and was adapted into an HBO feature film that won five Emmy Awards, three Golden Globes, and a Peabody Award. From 2019 to 2023, he was the co-founder and executive editor of The Recount, a pioneering digital news start-up producing short-form video for platforms such as Instagarm and Twitter. During the 2016 election season, he was a co-host of the daily MSNBC and Bloomberg TV show With All Due Respect and managing editor of Bloomberg Politics. Before that, he was a staff writer for New York, The New Yorker, Wired, and The Economist. Educated at Northwestern University, Oxford, and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, John grew up in Los Angeles and now lives in Manhattan … where he principally serves as valet for his Great Dane, DZA.

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