The Hill is an American news website, based in Washington, D.C. which began as a newspaper publisher in 1994. It is owned by Capitol Hill Publishing, which is owned by News Communications, Inc. Focusing on politics, policy, business and international relations, The Hill coverage includes the U.S. Congress, the presidency, and election campaigns. On its website, The Hill describes its output as "nonpartisan reporting on the inner workings of Congress and the nexus of politics and business".
Founding and early years
The paper was founded in 1994 by Democraticpower broker and New York businessman Jerry Finkelstein and Martin Tolchin, a former correspondent for The New York Times. The Hill was founded in 1994 under the company News Communications, Inc. Jerry Finkelstein, the former publisher of the New York Law Journal and The National Law Journal, was the primary shareholder of the company. New York Democratic Representative Gary L. Ackerman was a major shareholder of News Communications. The Hills first editor was Martin Tolchin, a former correspondent in the Washington bureau of The New York Times. In 2003, Hugo Gurdon became The Hills editor-in-chief. Gurdon turned The Hill from a weekly paper into a daily during congressional sessions.
In 2012, founder Jerry Finkelstein died and left the organization to his son, James "Jimmy" A. Finkelstein In 2014, Gurdon left for the Washington Examiner and was replaced by his managing editor, Bob Cusack. Cusack currently serves as the editor-in-chief, with Peter Greenberger as the publisher, and Ian Swanson as managing editor.
In 2017 owner Jimmy Finkelstein hired political commentator John Solomon as a journalist. Solomon reported directly to Finkelstein which removed him entirely from normal editorial oversight. Solomon regularly inserted material from advertisers into journalistic copy, leading to protests from The Hills publisher, who subsequently left the paper. Eventually Solomon was rebranded as an opinion contributor. In March 2018 he published an interview and series of columns that promoted a conspiracy theory regarding Ukraine advanced by associates of Rudy Giuliani. This led to further outcry from staff.
In January 2019, WarnerMedia's CNN reported that Finkelstein was interfering in the editorial independence of the paper in an inappropriate way to minimize criticism of American President Donald Trump. They reported that staff were "in revolt" over Finkelstein's ownership style. In September John Solomon left The Hill.
As of 2020, the newspaper claims to have more than 24,000 print readers. The Hill is distributed for free in newspaper boxes around the U.S. Capitol building, and mailed directly to all congressional offices. The founder's son James "Jimmy" A. Finkelstein serves as its chairman. In January of 2020, Politico reported that the owner is looking for potential buyers of The Hill. In June 2020, Politico reported that Jimmy Finkelstein's wife, Pamela Gross, was involved in getting Melania Trump acclimated to living and working in the White House. Gross' unpaid arrangement was not disclosed in the several dozen articles The Hill published about the First Lady while Gross was advising her from August 2017 to February 2018, nor were more than a select few Hill employees informed that their boss' wife was an East Wing adviser.