January 8, 2013

The Washington Post’s polling operation will be spun off into an independent business, a press release this morning announces. “Capital Insight” will still conduct polling for The Washington Post, but it will also take on clients. Jon Cohen will lead Capital Insight.

The Washington Post Co. also owns a social media advertising agency, SocialCode, which acquired Digg’s old engineering team last May.

Press release below:

Washington Post Media today announced the launch of “Capital Insight,” an independent polling operation that will offer polling and research services to external clients.

Capital Insight will design, implement and analyze high-impact survey research for philanthropic foundations, commercial enterprises and others wishing to better understand public opinion, carry out leadership surveys, track hot topics and do effectiveness testing. Capital Insight will offer clients a variety of products and services such as custom research, strategic polls and end-to-end consulting services on surveys, including data management, analysis and presentation.

Capital Insight will continue to conduct all The Washington Post’s polling, including polling conducted with ABC News as well as polling carried out in regular partnership with non-partisan, non-profit organizations. Capital Insight is independent from The Washington Post’s newsroom and advertising departments. A senior editor in The Washington Post’s newsroom will oversee polls commissioned by The Post.

Jon Cohen, who has been The Post’s polling director and polling editor since 2006, will be in charge of the group.

“When we moved the polling department out of The Post’s newsroom and into Research & Analytics two years ago, we expanded our focus on political and sociological topics to market research surveys and analyses of business opportunities. Now with the launch of Capital Insight, we’re able to offer our high-quality, independent services more broadly,” said Cohen, now general manager and polling director of Capital Insight. He added, “Since being the first subscriber to the Gallup poll in the 1930s and then creating an internal polling group in the 1970s, The Post has consistently presented high-quality polls to readers. The creation of Capital Insight allows us to maintain the longstanding integrity of Washington Post polls, while simultaneously creating new business opportunities.”

Steve Hills, President and General Manager of Washington Post Media said: “The Washington Post has a long, unwavering commitment to public opinion polling. Polls offer powerful insight, and Capital Insight provides top-notch, independent research that is hard to replicate. We believe external clients will want to utilize our first-rate polling team.”

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Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City…
Andrew Beaujon

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