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Name and title: Cliff Sloan, vice president and general counsel, WashingtonPost.Newsweek Interactive; publisher, Slate Age: 49 Company profile: WashingtonPost.-Newsweek Interactive is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Washington Post Co., comprising WashingtonPost.com, Newsweek.com, Slate.com and the Internet site BudgetTravel. The subsidiary employs approximately 250 people and reported revenues of $102 million last year. Route to present position: Sloan moved through jobs in all three branches of the federal government and prominent law firms before putting down roots in 2000 at The Washington Post Co. “The most important thing to me in life is waking up each morning incredibly excited and charged up about what I am doing for work,” he said. After taking his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University in 1979, Sloan went to work as executive assistant to the late U.S. Representative Sidney R. Yates, D-Illinois. In 1981, he left for Harvard Law School but returned to government in 1984, with his law degree, as a clerk for Judge J. Skelly Wright of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. In 1985, Sloan began a clerkship with U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. In 1987, he went to work as an associate in the Office of Independent Counsel, assigned to investigate the Iran-Contra affair. When that was done he took a position as an associate at Onek, Klein & Farr, the now-defunct Washington appellate boutique, but in 1989 returned to government as assistant to the U.S. solicitor general. He argued five Supreme Court cases on behalf of the government. In 1991, Sloan returned to private practice as an associate, then partner, at Chicago-based Mayer, Brown & Platt, as it was then called. The Clinton administration beckoned in 1993, and Sloan went to work as associate counsel to the president. Among his other duties, he headed the team assigned to steer the Supreme Court appointment of Justice Stephen G. Breyer through the Senate. Sloan in 1995 accepted a partnership at the Washington firm Wiley, Rein & Fielding, where he co-chaired the Supreme Court and appellate practice group and the Internet practice group. In 2000, he accepted his position with The Washington Post Co. Legal team & outside counsel: Sloan oversees a lean team, with one full-time deputy general counsel and one part-time assistant. Two legal aides round out the team. “We are responsible for every legal issue that comes up in the company. We have a lot of intellectual property issues, copyright, trademark, some patent issues. Contract and licensing, and our commercial relationships, are the lifeblood of the company. We face a lot of media law issues and online law issues, some of them involving cutting-edge questions of Internet law.” Sloan turns to Washington-based Williams & Connolly for media law and intellectual property issues. Washington firm Covington & Burling assists with corporate matters. Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr is on hand for Internet and business issues. Litigation of note included participation in a case against Internet advertiser Gator Corp. for selling pop-up ads on Web sites owned by the Post and other publishers, which ended in a confidential settlement. “We’ve been active, along with other media companies, enforcing intellectual property rights.” Sloan sits on the advisory board of Corporate Pro Bono, a creature of the Association of General Counsel and Georgetown University Law Center’s Pro Bono Initiative; it encourages in-house attorneys to take volunteer projects. Daily duties: Sloan blends two distinct jobs, one as publisher of Slate and the other as general counsel for WashingtonPost.Newsweek Interactive. He oversees all legal issues and sits on the eight-member executive committee. “The philosophy of the Washington Post Co. is to have the lawyers closely integrated into the business. We are very engaged with the different newsrooms on editorial issues and with the business unit on issues that relate to advertising, law and revenues.” Sloan was a key player in the January 2005 acquisition of Slate and was named publisher once the deal was complete. The site claims 5 million readers each month. Sloan is responsible for the overall business operation and planning, the profit and loss statement, the business plan and strategy for implementing the plan. “It is a fascinating time on the journalism side and the business side for an online media business. The issues that come up are fascinating.” Personal: Sloan and his wife of 19 years, Mary Lou Hartman, have three children: daughters Sarah, 17, and Annie, 15; and son Nick, 12. Sloan is active with Street Law, a program that prepares high school social studies teachers to impart practical knowledge of the law and the legal system. He runs a couple of miles a day for exercise. He is in the final stages of writing a book on Marbury v. Madison due out next year. “When I am not focusing on 21st century legal and media issues, I am deeply immersed in early 19th century legal issues and the Supreme Court fight that shaped the modern legal system.” Last book and movie: Gentleman Revolutionary: Gouverneur Morris, the Rake Who Wrote the Constitution, by Richard Brookhiser; and The Namesake.

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