WASHINGTON, Jan. 31, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Hill, the news source of record for policy influencers inside and outside Washington, today announced the hiring of Krystal Ball, formerly of MSNBC's The Cycle, and Jamal Simmons, a former adviser to two Democratic White Houses and a frequent political analyst on MSNBC, ABC News, CBS News, CNN and NPR. Ball will serve as the progressive co-host on a morning show with a conservative co-host to be announced soon. Simmons will initially appear as a regular analyst on the morning show before launching his own progressive opinion show later this year. The Hill is planning a full slate of streaming programming, which will also include a conservative opinion show.
The new digital shows are under the direction of John Solomon. Since joining The Hill in July 2017, Solomon—a multi-award-winning journalist whose career includes tenures at The Daily Beast, The Washington Post, The Associated Press and The Washington Times—is overseeing the brand's push into digital video content.
"This is a new era for The Hill. After another year of record growth, including a massive audience uptick, daily streaming was the next logical step," said James Finkelstein, chairman of Capitol Hill Publishing Corp, which publishes The Hill. "We were focused on a plan for video for some time, and are proud to offer an impressive lineup of balanced news and information for our audiences led by some of the biggest names in journalism."
"The goal of our programming is to air views from all sides of the political spectrum with trusted news commentators at the helm," added Solomon. "Krystal and Jamal are uniquely positioned to help make sense of what is going on in a turbulent Washington and to channel the next great ideas and personalities from the progressive side of the aisle."
Ball, a former Democratic congressional candidate, is an author, activist, and President of the People's House Project. At People's House Project, Ball is working to rebuild the Democratic Party brand and bench in the economically distressed regions where they have lost the most ground. Ball and her work were recently profiled on Vice News. She recently published a new book, "Reversing the Apocalypse: Hijacking the Democratic Party to Save the World."
While at MSNBC, Ball also developed and co-produced Krystal Clear (KC), a flagship feature of MSNBC's all digital channel Shift, and anchored live stream coverage of special events like the 2014 mid-term elections and the 2015 State of the Union.
"The same old, stale left versus right fights done in the same old way isn't working for an increasingly sophisticated audience. Viewers want authenticity and context in their news the same way they want it from their politicians," Ball said. "The Hill has grown so dramatically because the team there understands how to thrive in the world of digital media. It makes me so proud to be a part of the launch team that is taking on stale models and finally offering something fresh and exciting."
Simmons has spent over two decades at the nexus of politics and media and helped elect Bill Clinton and Barack Obama to the presidency. He created media events around the world for the Clinton White House, was chief of staff to a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and has advised the Obama White House, U.S. Senators and corporate, foundation and faith leaders on communications issues.
Most often seen on MSNBC and heard on Here and Now on NPR, Simmons was a regular guest on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos during the 2016 election. Before that, he was the lead interviewer for The Root 100 miniseries on Magic Johnson's Aspire TV network; the CBS News Democratic political analyst during the 2010 midterm elections; and a fixture on CNN during the 2008 Presidential campaign.
"I'm excited to join The Hill, which is so widely respected, and have the chance to tell stories important to the diverse interests and backgrounds of all Americans," Simmons said. "We will engage in the urgent debates of these tumultuous times and hope to illuminate a path forward for the country."
The Hill is enjoying incredible audience growth as the finest independent political site, providing a solid platform for the brand's expanded video and programming efforts.
The Hill has doubled traffic year-over year for the last three years. TheHill.com continues to see record traffic, which began in October 2017 with comScore recording more than 28mm monthly unique views. Since the beginning of 2017, the brand saw more than 62mm per month reach on Facebook. In November 2017, according to comScore, The Hill was the #1 mobile site in U.S. uniques. The Hill was also named to the Top 10 of Top Tweeted News Outlets in the U.S. by Twitter in 2017.
The Hill will continue to expand its branded content and video slate, supported by an expanded marketing team put into place at the close of last year.
ABOUT THE HILL
The Hill is one of the fastest-growing news site in the United States. The Hill was designated by MIT MEDIA LAB as one of the three most influential media organizations in the 2016 election cycle only exceeded by CNN and FOX News. The Hill is published by Capitol Hill Publishing Corp, a subsidiary of News Communications, Inc.
SOURCE The Hill