Washington, D.C. (January 7, 2016)—The Atlantic has embarked on a multi-platform expansion of its coverage of Washington politics and policy—across TheAtlantic.com, the magazine, video, and live events—focused on offering a distinctively sophisticated understanding of power and ideas in the U.S. capital. As part of this ambitious effort, The Atlantic is tripling its Washington reporting team and growing its events and business staffs.

A redesigned Politics & Policy section launches today at TheAtlantic.com along with “2016 Distilled,” an interactive election news hub. The Edge, a daily political newsletter formerly produced by National Journal, has also been renewed under The Atlantic. The January/February “Election 2016” issue of The Atlantic magazine, on newsstands now, takes stock of the future for our political parties with dual cover stories: “The Great Republican Revolt” by David Frum and “Why America is Moving to the Left” by Peter Beinart.

As part of The Atlantic’s new effort, AtlanticLIVE, its events division, is expanding its Washington portfolio to include more programs focused on vital policy debates and issues pivotal to the upcoming elections. The division is also producing a series of events at both national conventions this summer.

“This extraordinary presidential campaign is a great story in itself, but it also reflects deep and enduring uncertainty and disagreement about the correct direction of domestic and foreign policy. That’s why we’re making this investment now: We believe The Atlantic has a special role to play in identifying and sharpening the most important ideas and drawing more people into the debate,” said James Bennet, president and editor in chief of The Atlantic.

This growth comes at the start of what will be The Atlantic’s largest year of investment, continuing the momentum of record audience, revenue, and profit in 2015. TheAtlantic.com broke three consecutive audience records September-November and had 50 percent YOY digital growth, reaching a high of more than 31.5 million unique monthly visitors. Total revenues across platforms and businesses grew 20 percent in 2015. The Atlantic also increased its total staff by 50 percent in 2015, and has similar hiring plans this year.

“We’re serious about this. For 2016, we are expanding not only our digital and print coverage of politics and policy, but also our live events programming—here in Washington and at the political conventions this summer,” said Bob Cohn, president and COO of The Atlantic.

“In addition to new editorial staff, we’ve also beefed up our teams in sales, marketing, and event planning and logistics.”

In keeping with The Atlantic’s nearly 160-year history of highlighting consequential ideas and issues (the magazine dispatched Nathaniel Hawthorne from Boston to the capital during the Civil War), its political reporting will continue to look beyond the typical Washington beats to ideas animating policy choices: about the nature of the American family, the role of technology in our lives, the sources and consequences of poverty, the foundations of global stability. The Atlantic will also deliver more reporting on the White House, agencies of the executive branch, Congress, defense, and lobbying.

Key elements of The Atlantic’s Politics & Policy expansion:

Politics & Policy Reporting Team: The Atlantic’s Politics & Policy section, including its “2016 Distilled” election coverage, is led by the Washington bureau chief, Yoni Appelbaum, and TheAtlantic.com’s editor, J.J. Gould. Both Appelbaum and Gould bring years of familiarity with the world of policy analysis, having come to journalism by way of academia, with PhDs in history and political science respectively.

The reporting team, which will triple in size, has added Sacha Zimmerman, Nora Kelly, Clare Foran, Priscilla Alvarez, Marina Koren, Andrew McGill, and Michelle Cottle, who join in various editorial roles from National Journal. The publication’s most prolific and influential voices—including Jeffrey Goldberg, Molly Ball, James Fallows, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Conor Friedersdorf, David Graham, and Russell Berman—will continue to drive the coverage as well. Five additional editorial hires will be announced in the coming weeks. The growth of the Politics & Policy team follows a recent expansion of TheAtlantic.com’s News team, led by Krishnadev Calamur. Politics & Policy will draw on the reporting of that expanded News staff, and from TheAtlantic.com’s coverage of other areas including technology, health, business, and culture.

Election Hub:2016 Distilled” is The Atlantic’s project featuring news and analysis on the candidates vying for political office this coming November. The project showcases a custom-built dashboard with the latest news and interactive modules. Among the features:  

  • Poll Tracker: Real time polling data, in partnership with RealClearPolitics.
  • Candidate Cheat Sheet: Primers on the candidates and their policy positions.
  • Gaffe Track: The 2016 election in blunders.
  • Media Mentions: Tracking which candidates are being talked about on TV.
  • On the Trail: Election schedules and candidate appearance trackers.

More Events Bring Issues to the Stage: The Atlantic’s events division, AtlanticLIVE, is scaling the size and scope of its industry-leading business. Part of this growth is focused on expanding its portfolio in Washington, convening more events about the pressing policy issues driving political debate. Key among them will be the Washington Ideas Forum, an annual flagship event produced in partnership with the Aspen Institute, and a series of prominent programs at both national conventions this summer.

(Sources: Omniture, publisher’s data)

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