Sep 15, 2017

NBC adds first-ever media reporting unit

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

NBC News is adding a team of top-level media reporters to its full-time and contributor rosters. The network's first media unit will be led by newly-hired senior media editor Claire Atkinson, formerly of New York Post, who will lead a team of internal and external contributors to cover some of the biggest media stories that cut across politics, technology, business and culture. Atkinson will report to Catherine Kim, executive editor of NBC News Digital. The unit, whose name has yet to be announced, will launch on all NBC platforms in the coming weeks.

Why it matters: Between fake news, Donald Trump's historic election, and the rise of power in Silicon Valley, some of the biggest stories of the year have all focused on how changes in media are shaping our daily lives.

In response, many outlets are honing in on coverage of media trends. Both of MSNBC's cable rivals, Fox News and CNN, have media reporters and TV shows that focus on this type of coverage.

  • Internal contributors: NBC's Jim Rainey and Jo Ling Kent
  • External contributors: Kara Swisher, executive editor at Recode; Ben Smith, editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed; John Huey, former editor-in-chief of TIME Inc; Gabriel Sherman, special correspondent at Vanity Fair and NBC News & MSNBC contributor; Steven Brill, Journalist and Author and NBC News & MSNBC contributor; Peter Kafka, senior editor of media at Recode.

Read the full memo announcing the move from NBC News President Noah Oppenheim, MSNBC President Phil Griffin and NBC News and MSNBC Head of Digital Nick Ascheim below.

All,

We're pleased to announce the creation of a brand new team at NBC News & MSNBC covering media.

Media is one of the biggest stories of 2017, cutting across the busy intersection of politics, technology, business and culture. From Silicon Valley to the White House to your smartphone, the landscape is changing dramatically. We see it every day. Competition for attention on screens is fierce. Credibility is under attack. Innovation is constant.

And we want to cover this moment – in our own unique way.

Led by senior editor and reporter Claire Atkinson – who joined us earlier this month from the New York Post where she covered the media business – the team brings together outstanding in-house NBC News & MSNBC talent with outside contributors who are among the most respected and most followed editors and journalists in this space.

The media team will be housed inside NBC News digital, reporting to Catherine Kim. But they will be tasked with providing coverage to all NBC News and MSNBC platforms.

This is an all-star group that we're proud to share with you today:

  • Claire Atkinson will be senior media editor and lead the team. Prior to her seven years at the New York Post, Claire was business editor at Broadcasting & Cable, a media reporter for Advertising Age and media editor at PRWeek. She has also freelanced for the New York Times and Conde Nast Portfolio.
  • Internal contributors include: Jim Rainey, who joined NBC News in April as a news reporter based in Los Angeles. Prior to joining us, Jim covered the film and entertainment industry at Variety and politics and media at the Los Angeles Times. Jo Ling Kent, an NBC News and MSNBC correspondent, who reports on the business of media, the technology giants, and social media platforms.
  • External contributors include: Kara Swisher, executive editor at Recode, is a definitive source on Silicon Valley and the tech industry. Ben Smith, editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed, joins as an on-air contributor, bringing his team's groundbreaking reporting on the intersection of tech and politics as well as the perspective of a digital native. John Huey, former editor-in-chief of TIME Inc, joins as a contributor for our digital and broadcast platforms. Gabriel Sherman, special correspondent at Vanity Fair, continues as an NBC News & MSNBC contributor. Steven Brill, Journalist and Author – and Founder of Court TV, The American Lawyer Magazine, Brill's Content Magazine, Journalism Online, and The Yale Journalism Initiative – continues as an NBC News & MSNBC contributor. Peter Kafka, senior editor of media at Recode, joins as a contributor.

Our coverage (with a name to be announced soon), will launch in the coming weeks on NBCNews.com and all of our platforms.

Please join us in welcoming the new team!

Noah, Phil & Nick

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