The Note, ABC’s tip sheet, media gossip and inside baseball newsletter, breaks news today that Ron Fournier, AP’s top political writer, is departing the wire service for an as-yet unidentified new Internet operation in which he apparently will have a piece of the action. Fournier had made the jump to AP from the Capitol Bureau of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and later followed Bill Clinton to Washington. Fournier is, by our observation, one of the hardest working people in the business.

The inside baseball in today’s Note included the headline on the item:

The Note: The Fournier way
Somewhere, Joan Duffy is smiling.

We can explain. Fournier and Duffy, the veteran journalist and now UALR media relations manager, are old friends. She was the Commercial Appeal’s Capitol Bureau chief during Fournier’s days at the Arkansas Capitol. Furthermore, Mark Halperin, who edits The Note, met Duffy during his days covering the late, great Whitewater scandal and knew she’d be happy about Fournier’s good fortune. So now you know.

By the way, we hear one of the first well-wishers to Fournier on his new venture was Mike Huckabee, positioning daily, if not hourly, for his run for the White House.