IJR Kicks Off 2017 with Record-Breaking January​, Benny Johnson Promotion

| FEB 9, 2017 | 10:12 PM

IJR is off to a hot start in 2017, coming off a banner election cycle which saw Independent Journal Review cement its place atop the most socially engaged news sites in the world. The digital news site began 2017 with a record-breaking month in January, amassing 104 million site visits in a single month - a high point in IJR's four-year history.

In addition to the record-breaking number of sessions for January 2017, IJR totaled nearly 30 million unique visitors for the month, one of the top months in company history.

The high traffic numbers aren't the only highlights IJR has had in the five weeks of 2017 so far.

IJR CEO Alex Skatell has promoted Benny Johnson to Chief Content Officer.

Benny, who formerly served as IJR Creative Director, led the team behind some of IJR's biggest viral hits in 2016, such at 'How To Destroy Your Cell Phone With Lindsey Graham' 'How To Cook Machine Gun Bacon With Ted Cruz' 'How To Be A Freakin' Awesome Grandma With Ann Romney' and many other experimental concepts showing how politicians mix with guitars, dogs, cats, live turkeys, operations, Muppets and flying footballs.

Under his leadership, IJR's video and viral teams took the lead in 2016 and we're excited to grow on that success. Benny will now be overseeing the editorial and creative direction for original content, working closely with our best-in-class writers and producers to make sure IJR is prepared to cover the unprecedented, challenging media environment of 2017 and beyond.

He's off to a great start, breaking the scoop of President Donald Trump's nomination of Neil Gorsuch to fill Antonin Scalia's vacancy on the Supreme Court.

READ MORE: Politico: Meet the website that scooped the world on Gorsuch.

Since the start of 2017, IJR has grown its news and video teams by announcing eight new hires were joining the site, and quickly followed up that expansion by announcing veteran reporter Erin McPike was joining as well as IJR's White House Correspondent.

During Super Bowl LI, IJR Fellow Josh Billinson and reporter/editor Virginia Kruta published the top two most engaged articles on Facebook during the event, according to Mediametric:

IJR rounded out 2016 by having the highest average engaged audience on Facebook surrounding Election Day news coverage, nearly doubling up all other publishers, including The New York Times, BuzzFeed, CNN, Huffington Post, USA Today, according to NewsWhip:

For a wrap up of our 2016, you can check out this video we made about ourselves!

See you in 2017!