The AM Ticker: Coatney, Nigeria, Olbermann/Morgan

By Alex Weprin Comment

  • Al Jazeera America has hired Tumblr’s former media director Mark Coatney as senior VP of digital media. Coatney served as Tumblr’s liaison to media companies, and was one of its earliest employees. More after the jump.

  • A Nigerian man who pretended to be a CNN correspondent to secure money from officials seeking press coverage has been arrested. Reuters has more (via J$P).

  • Three days in, and ESPN2 host Keith Olbermann has already started a cable news feud. Olbermann named CNN host Piers Morgan his “Worst Person in the World” last night for comments he made on a controversy in support of a Golf Channel tweet.

AJAM Coatney announcement:


NEW YORK – August 29, 2013 – Al Jazeera America today announced that former Tumblr media director Mark Coatney has been named the channel’s first senior vice president of digital media.

“It’s critical to have someone who knows the importance of digital content and how people are consuming it in today’s information environment,” said Kate O’Brian, Al Jazeera America’s president. “Mark has more than 20 years of digital media experience and we’re excited to have his knowledge, experience and talent at Al Jazeera America.”

Coatney spent the previous three years as the media director for Tumblr, where he was responsible for the more than 700 brands, media outlets and individuals Tumblr including The New York Times, IBM, NPR, Disney, Conde Nast and BBC America. During his time at Tumblr, the company went from 5 million blogs to 135 million, and from 10 employees to more than 180. Prior to Tumblr, Coatney led the Newsweek Tumblr and managed the magazine’s Twitter, Facebook and other audience engagement platforms. Before Newsweek, Coatney was a writer and editor for Time magazine and

“There are a few moments in a career where you have the chance to help shape a great journalistic organization and reach a new audience,” said Coatney. “I’m excited at the opportunity at Al Jazeera America to create a new and innovative news channel that will tell those stories that need to be told.”