The Hill
TypeDaily newspaper (when Congress is in session)
FormatCompact
Owner(s)Nexstar Media Group
Founder(s)
EditorBob Cusack
Managing editorIan Swanson[1]
Photo editorGreg Nash
FoundedSeptember 1, 1994; 29 years ago (1994-09-01)
LanguageAmerican English
Headquarters1625 K St., NW, Suite 900, Washington, D.C., 20006 U.S.
38°54′11″N 77°02′15″W / 38.90306°N 77.03750°W / 38.90306; -77.03750 (The Hill newspaper)
CityWashington, D.C.
CountryUnited States
Circulation24,000 print (as of December 2012)[2][3]
ISSN1521-1568
OCLC number31153202
Websitethehill.com

The Hill is an American newspaper and digital media company based in Washington, D.C., that was founded in 1994.[4][2]

Focusing on politics, policy, business and international relations, The Hill's coverage includes the U.S. Congress, the presidency and executive branch, and election campaigns.[5] Its stated output is "nonpartisan reporting on the inner workings of Government and the nexus of politics and business".[6]

The company's primary outlet is TheHill.com. The Hill is additionally distributed in print for free around Washington, D.C., and distributed to all congressional offices. It has been owned by Nexstar Media Group since 2021.

History

Founding and early years

The company was founded as a newspaper in 1994 by Democratic power broker and New York businessman Jerry Finkelstein,[7] and Martin Tolchin, a former correspondent for The New York Times. New York Representative Gary L. Ackerman was also a major shareholder.[4] The name of the publication alludes to "Capitol Hill" as a synecdoche for the United States Congress and government generally.[8]

In 2012, James A. Finkelstein assumed control of the organization.[9][1][2]

Digital distribution and print circulation

In 2016, The New York Times reported that The Hill was "proceeding with ambitious expansion plans" to become a national brand publication, and its website traffic increased 126% over the prior year, and was above Politico's traffic for the period.[10]

Following the 2016 US presidential election, The Street reported that The Hill saw the largest increase in online political readership among political news sites, with an increase of 780%. CNN and Politico saw smaller increases over the period,[11] making The Hill "the fastest-growing political news site".[12] In 2017, The Hill was also cited by Twitter as one of the top 10 "most-tweeted" news sources.[13] A 2017 study by the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University found that The Hill was the second most-shared source among supporters of Donald Trump on Twitter during the election, behind Breitbart News.[14][15]

In 2017, The Hill hired John Solomon as executive vice president of digital video.[16] Solomon inserted material from advertisers into journalistic copy, leading to protests from The Hill's publisher.[17] In March 2018, he worked closely with associates of Rudy Giuliani, the personal lawyer of U.S. President Donald Trump, to promote the spurious Biden–Ukraine conspiracy theory.[17] In May 2018, Solomon's role was changed to opinion contributor, although he was allowed to keep his original title.[18] In September 2019, he left The Hill.[16] A February 2020 internal review by The Hill concluded that there were multiple flaws in Solomon's 14 columns about Ukraine and the Bidens, including omitting important details and failing to disclose that the sources used by Solomon were his own attorneys Victoria Toensing and Joseph diGenova—both close associates of Trump and his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.[19][20]

As of 2018, The Hill was the second most-viewed US political news website and the third-most tweeted U.S. news source.[21]

In January 2019, CNN claimed Finkelstein interfered in the editorial independence of the paper by "keeping a watchful eye on the newspaper's coverage to ensure it is not too critical" of President Trump.[16]

In 2019, The Hill was ranked second among all US news sites for political readership, second to CNN, and ahead of Capitol Hill competitors such as Politico.[22]

In 2020, it was again ranked second for online politics readership across all news sites, behind only CNN. It remained ahead of Politico, Fox News, NBCNews.com and MSNBC TV.[23]

Vending box for The Hill on K Street.

As of 2020, the newspaper claims to have more than 22,000 print readers.[2] The Hill is distributed for free in newspaper boxes around the U.S. Capitol building, and mailed directly to all congressional offices.

As of 2020, The Hill's YouTube channel had 1,100,000 subscribers, ahead of Politico, Axios, and Bloomberg Politics. In October 2020, The Hill's YouTube channel averaged over 1.5 million daily video views and more than 10 million per week; in September 2020 it received over 340 million video views.[24]

In 2021, The Hill was acquired by Nexstar Media Group for $130 million.[9][25]

In 2022 The Hill made the news for censorship, when it refused to air a segment in its show Rising, and subsequently fired Katie Halper, for defending Rashida Tlaib calling Israel having an "apartheid government".[26]

In 2024 censorship was topic again, when Briahna Joy Gray got fired after rolling her eyes at the sister of a Hamas hostage during an interview.[27]

Features and editions

The Hill TV

In June 2018, The Hill launched Hill.TV, a digital news channel. Four years later, the channel expanded to a 24 by 7 FAST streaming service and was rebranded as The Hill TV.[28] It is distributed by Haystack, LG, LocalNow, Plex, Roku, and Vizio. Programming includes Rising, a morning news program hosted by Briahna Joy Gray and Robby Soave four days a week (initially by Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton.)[29][30] In May 2021, long-time hosts Ball and Saagar Enjeti announced they were departing in order to release their own independent project, Breaking Points with Krystal and Saagar.[29][31]

Notable stories and awards

The National Press Club's annual Sandy Hume Memorial Award is named after staffer Sandy Hume, in recognition of his 1997 reporting in The Hill of an attempted Republican coup against then-speaker Newt Gingrich.[32]

Climate and energy reporters Sharon Udasin and Rachel Frazin were recognized with SEAL Awards for environmental journalism in 2022 and 2023.[33][34]

Staff

Masthead

Past

References

  1. ^ a b Yingling, Jennifer (2014-07-28). "The Hill names Bob Cusack Editor in Chief". The Hill. Retrieved 2014-08-07.
  2. ^ a b c d "Who we are". The Hill. 7 February 2007. Retrieved 23 February 2020.
  3. ^ "The Hill: 'An investment in the arts is an investment in economic growth'". Americans for the Arts Action Fund. February 2015. Archived from the original on June 20, 2015. Retrieved June 20, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Glaberson, William (25 May 1994). "New paper to vie for readers on Capitol Hill". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on July 16, 2014.
  5. ^ Joyella, Mark. "New and Old Political Media Are Battling for Dominance in the Century's Wildest Election". AdWeek. K Street, NW, Washington D.C. ISSN 0199-2864. Archived from the original on February 11, 2017. Retrieved 2016-12-24.
  6. ^ "Contact Us". The Hill. July 18, 2018 [First published August 5, 2009]. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  7. ^ McFadden, Robert D. (November 28, 2012). "Jerry Finkelstein, New York Power Broker, Dies at 96". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on November 29, 2012.
  8. ^ Mundy, Alicia (December 2, 1996). "The In-Your-Face Race" (PDF). Mediaweek. Vol. 6, no. 46. p. 20. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 9, 2021.
  9. ^ a b Smith, Ben; Robertson, Katie (August 20, 2021). "The Hill Is Sold to a TV Giant". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on August 21, 2021.
  10. ^ Fandos, Nicholas (2016-05-14). "Capitol Hill Newspapers, Once a Protected Class, Redefine Themselves (Published 2016)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-03-08.
  11. ^ Doctor, Ken (28 June 2017). "Washington Post, New York Times are big winners of election wars". TheStreet. Retrieved 2021-03-18.
  12. ^ Communicator, Capitol (2017-03-02). ""The Hill" Has Record Web Traffic in January". Capitol Communicator. Retrieved 2021-03-18.
  13. ^ Lejeune, Tristan (2017-12-05). "The Hill named one of 2017's top 10 tweeted news outlets by Twitter". TheHill. Retrieved 2021-03-18.
  14. ^ Blake, Aaron (August 22, 2017). "Analysis | Trump backers' alarming reliance on hoax and conspiracy theory websites, in 1 chart". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2021-10-10.
  15. ^ Faris, Robert; Roberts, Hal; Etling, Bruce (August 8, 2017). Partisanship, Propaganda, and Disinformation: Online Media and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. Berkman Center for Internet & Society. p. 72. OCLC 1048396744.
  16. ^ a b c Stelter, Brian; Darcy, Oliver (2019-01-18). "Jimmy Finkelstein, the owner of The Hill, has flown under the radar. But he's played a key role in the Ukraine scandal". CNN Business. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  17. ^ a b Pearson, Jake; Spies, Mike; McSwane, J. David (2019-10-25). "How a Veteran Reporter Worked with Giuliani's Associates to Launch the Ukraine Conspiracy". ProPublica. Retrieved 2020-02-24.
  18. ^ Erik Wemple (2018-05-14). "The Hill's John Solomon moves to new spot as 'opinion contributor'". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2020-02-24.
  19. ^ "John Solomon columns on Ukraine ripped in newspaper's internal investigation for conflicts and distortions". The Washington Post. 2020. Archived from the original on March 4, 2020.
  20. ^ "Six degrees of Rudy: Giuliani's web tangles three Trump controversies". NBC News. November 30, 2019.
  21. ^ "'NowThis,' 'The Hill' Among Top 10 Most Tweeted News Outlets". www.mediapost.com. Retrieved 2021-03-08.
  22. ^ "CNN Digital Breaks Records, Sees Biggest Audience in History in 2019". Retrieved 21 February 2021.
  23. ^ "Best Summer on Record For CNN Digital". Retrieved 2021-03-08.
  24. ^ "The Hill's YouTube Stats (Summary Profile) - Social Blade Stats". socialblade.com.
  25. ^ Goldsmith, Jill (August 20, 2021). "Nexstar Media Buys Political News Hub, The Hill, For $130 Million". Deadline.
  26. ^ Grim, Ryan (2022-09-30). "Hill TV Censors Segment on Rashida Tlaib's Description of Israel as "Apartheid Government," Bars Reporter". The Intercept. Retrieved 2024-06-08.
  27. ^ "Briahna Joy Gray Fired As Co-Host of The Hill's 'Rising': 'A Clear Pattern of Suppressing Speech'". Mediaite. 2024-06-07. Retrieved 2024-06-08.
  28. ^ "Nexstar Digital Launches The Hill TV Streaming Channel on Plex". Nexstar Media Group, Inc. 2022-08-10. Retrieved 2023-03-04.
  29. ^ a b Cockburn (2021-06-01). "The fall of Rising". The Spectator. Retrieved 2021-06-07.
  30. ^ "Buck Sexton helps launch Hill.tv with debut of new daily morning show "Rising with Krystal & Buck"". Premiere Networks. 2018-06-21. Retrieved 2020-02-11.
  31. ^ Berkowitz, Joe (2021-06-12). "Why 'Breaking Points with Krystal and Saagar' became the number-one political podcast in a week". Fast Company. Retrieved 2021-06-12.
  32. ^ "National Press Club Journalism Awards". National Press Club.
  33. ^ "Twelve Journalists Recognized as 2022 SEAL Environmental Journalism Award Winners". SEAL Awards. 2023-02-08. Retrieved 2023-12-19.
  34. ^ "Twelve Journalists Recognized as 2023 SEAL Environmental Journalism Award Winners". SEAL Awards. 2023-12-12. Retrieved 2023-12-19.
  35. ^ "Nexstar Names Joe Ruffolo Senior Vice President and General Manager for The Hill and NewsNation Digital". Nexstar Media Group, Inc. 2023-02-24. Retrieved 2023-03-04.
  36. ^ "Birthday of the Day: Bob Cusack, editor-in-chief of The Hill". Politico. August 4, 2020. Archived from the original on August 6, 2020.