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State Department Steals Atlantic Media CTO

Tom Cochran, formerly the CTO of Atlantic Media, has a new job at the State Department. He will now serve as the Managing Director of the department’s Bureau of International Information Programs. This will be a homecoming of sorts for Cochran, as he previously worked in the White House as Director of New Media Technologies. There he led the team of people that created the “We the People” petition website.

“It’s bittersweet to leave such a great group of colleagues,” Cochran told co-workers in an email last week. “But I was presented with another terrific position in the Administration.”

Cochran’s hiring is part of an effort by the State department, according to TIME‘s Zeke J Miller, “to bring American foreign policy—in particular outreach to non-citizens—into the modern era.” Check out that story here.

Hot Topic: Off-Exchange Enrollees

Today is the last official day to sign up for Obamacare via and the state exchanges -but it’ll still be a while before we know how many people actually enrolled. Meanwhile, there will be plenty of conjecture about the success and/or failure of the exchanges. But some journos are  buzzing about the healthcare shoppers who are staying off the exchanges altogether. These young procrastinators avoided the flawed government websites and signed up directly with their insurers over the past few weeks. Though they will still benefit from the healthcare law’s new provisions, they won’t be counted when Obamacare enrollments are finally tallied:

1) Young people finally buying health insurance. by Jonnelle Marte at Marketwatch.

Many under 34 were procrastinating, eHealth data suggests…

2) Young adults signing up at higher rates off Obamacare exchanges. by Jason Millman at Wonkblog.

A higher rate of young adults and uninsured people are signing up for coverage through a private insurance website…

3) Obamacare’s Invisible Victory. by Sophie Novack at National Journal.

Why the total enrollment number is actually bigger than you think…

Internal Memo: March Proves Record-Breaking Month for CNN Digital

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 11.51.59As March comes to a close, CNN has been getting some flak for their wall-to-wall coverage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. But while that mystery has dominated their television programming, other big stories are also getting play online. Along with the ironically ubiquitous missing plane, the tense situation in Ukraine, the Oscar Pistorius trial, and the recent landslide in Washington state have all kept CNN readers glued to computers and mobile devices.

A recent memo from CNN President Jeff Zucker highlights the network’s successes for March as the best month ever for page views and video streams across domestic and international desktop sites and mobile web traffic.

The whole internal memo after the jump…
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A New Morning Ritual? WaPo Launches ‘Read In’ With Reid Wilson

Can a morning tip sheet targeted at political professionals thrive without including birthday shout-outs? That’s the question WaPo‘s Reid Wilson has set out to answer this morning. Wilson and WaPo launched “Read In” at 8:00 a.m. -a new morning tip-sheet for Hill staffers and campaign workers. Wilson knows a little bit about the biz -he is the former editor-in-chief of the Hotline at National Journal and has been covering state-level politics for WaPo’s GovBeat for the past several years. FBDC caught up with Reid over the weekend and asked him some questions about his new project. Read on in to learn more, and if you haven’t already, sign up for the newsletter here.

You used to run Hotline at NJ. How is “Read In” going to differ from that and other morning tip sheets?

Read In is going to be laser-focused on its core audience – Capitol Hill staffers and members, the lobbying community, the campaign community, anyone who practices professional politics. My job is to help them do their jobs better, which means giving people a timely and comprehensive look at what they need to know before their first meeting or conference call. Hence the name: This is how people read in to their day.

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Mike Rogers is Leaving, What Will Sunday Show Bookers Do Now?

Roll Call‘s Steven Dennis points out that Mike Rogers’ retirement is going to be a loss not just for the Republican caucus, but also for the Sunday show circuit. There will certainly be a lot of free air-time to fill once Rogers is out of the picture:

Rogers, who will become a radio talk show host, had become in some ways the face of the intelligence community on television, racking up more Sunday show appearances than any other member of Congress each of the last two years. The telegenic former FBI agent repeatedly defended the National Security Agency against attacks following the avalanche of leaks by Edward Snowden, often taking a harder line than the White House.

According to Roll Call‘s Face Time feature, which tallies the Sunday show appearances of Members of Congress, Rogers took to the Sunday airwaves 26 times last year -mostly on CBS and CNN. That was once more than even John McCain managed that year. McCain was the most visible lawmaker of 2012, and the runner up in 2013.

TWT Launches Magazine for Black Conservatives

Well they’re just gunna try a little bit of everything over at The Washington Times, aren’t they?

Today the paper announced they will launch a magazine for black conservatives, the American CurrentSee. (We guess that’s a pun?) Ben Carson -the neurosurgeon  whose jeremiad against political correctness and healthcare reform at the National Prayer Breakfast last year made him famous in conservative circles -will be the publisher of the new digital weekly. Conservative columnist and radio host  Armstrong Williams will serve as executive editor. Fox News’ Juan Williams will also contribute to the first issue, which comes out March 30th.

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HuffPost Hires Data Scientist Ahead of ’14, ’16 Elections

Huffington Post’s Senior Polling Director, Mark Blumenthal, announced today that Marist analyst Natalie Jackson has been hired as HuffPost’s Senior Data Scientist.

“Natalie’s full-time presence on the Pollster team will help us to improve and expand HuffPost’s polling aggregation and modeling,” Blumenthal said.  ”At a time when statistical models used to forecast elections have gained great prominence, she will help Pollster leverage our unique knowledge of and experience with pre-election polls.”

Jackson has a PhD in statistical methods from the University of Oklahoma and, prior to joining Marist, she did post-doctoral work at Duke University. Her first day is May 12.

WCP Interactive: Dem Voters May Choose Non-Dem if Gray Wins Primary

A  new interactive put out by Washington City Paper, based on a PPP poll conducted for WCP and the Kojo Nnamdi Show earlier this month, shows how this year’s Mayoral race could stretch far beyond the Democratic primaries. DC is a heavily Democratic town, and winning the nom is usually a guarantee of victory in November. But this year, majorities of supporters of all the top-tier candidates -except Vincent Gray’s -say they are at least somewhat likely to vote for a non-Democrat if their candidate doesn’t win the nomination.

If Gray does win, he’ll have a lot of disaffected Democrats looking for other options. 57% of Murial Bowser’s supporters who were polled said they were “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to look outside the Democratic party, while 61% of Jack Evans supporters and 59% of Tommy Welles supporters say the same. By contrast, if Gray loses, the eventual Dem nominee won’t have to worry as much about losing his supporters -only 41% of whom said they would look elsewhere.

This could boost the chances of Independent candidate David Catania. Catania was first elected to city-wide office as a Republican, but split from the party in 2004 over their stances on gay marriage and urban issues. He has since run and been elected as an Independent, and declared his candidacy for Mayor March 12.

FT Panel: Making News Pay

WaPo‘s Chief Revenue Officer Kevin Gentzel, along with Jonathan Perelman of Buzzfeed, and Dawn Airey of Yahoo will be on a panel this afternoon at Financial Times‘ Digital Media Conference, talking about the ever-elusive goal of monetizing media. Should be very interesting to see if Gentzel will offer any insight into how a Bezos-era WaPo plans on making money. Their panel, which focuses on digital advertising  starts at 2:40 p.m. You can catch a live stream here.

E&E Finds a Balance: Tiny Audience, Huge Paywall

Great piece from the Nieman Journalism Lab by Caroline O’Donovan about private news service Environment and  Energy Publishing. E&E has a robust team of 75 reporters in 10 cities around the country, including Washington, LA, New York, Minneapolis and Houston, writing 70 stories a day. They also have a very small audience of environmental policy makers, academics, and industry types. So they pay for those reporters by charging very high subscription fees – between $2,000 and $150,000 a year -to that audience. And apparently, it works.

From the article:

To produce content at the volume its clients need, E&E has to maintain a robust staff. I asked [Founder Kevin Braun] how, in an age when reporters are encouraged to grow personal brands, he manages to hire journalists whose work will most likely never see a mass audience.

“Some of them are tired of being in newspaper newsrooms that are under constant financial pressure and downsizing and they find it depressing,” he says. “A lot of people were laid off, like the Washington bureau chief for The Denver Post. I’m more than happy to pick up those types of people. Some of his reporters have already had long careers in newspapers, but want to spend a few years digging into work they care about. “I’ve got guys in their mid seventies who are having the time of their lives,” says Braun.