18 Mar 2013 10:00 AM

First wave of new hires since split with Microsoft represents focus on original storytelling and investigative reporting

NEW YORK, NY-- March 18, 2013-- NBCNews.com Executive Editor Gregory Gittrich announced today a group of new hires joining the online news operation’s editorial and management teams, now based in New York City. This announcement marks the first round of new hires since NBC News acquired full ownership of its digital properties from Microsoft in July of last year. The group includes veteran reporters and editors as well as rising talent from leading outlets. The journalists will allow NBCNews.com to focus on original storytelling and investigative reporting while also strengthening its already best-in-class coverage of breaking news.

Hillary Frey has been named Editorial Director of News, Danielle Friedman has been named Senior Editor, Tracy Connor and Erin McClam have been named Senior Writers, Rachel Rique has been named Senior Planning Editor, Hasani Gittens and Megan Friedman have been named News Editors, Ben Popken has been named senior staff writer and editor, and Matthew DeLuca has been named staff writer. Along with the new additions, Gittrich promoted Dick Belsky to Managing Editor of News and announced that former NBC News campaign embed reporters Carrie Dann and Andrew Rafferty have joined as staff writers.

“NBCNews.com is built on a legacy of outstanding and compelling journalism. Our goal is to harness this advantage while at the same time developing new digital tools for narrative storytelling, investigative reporting and breaking news coverage,” Gittrich said. “These new hires have distinguished themselves as smart, talented journalists. They add great expertise and energy to our deep bench of world-class reporters, writers and editors.”

“We are focusing on original coverage and are committed to making sure NBCNews.com is a home for outstanding journalists. Today’s announcement is a reflection of that and just the beginning of what’s ahead,” said Gittrich, who joined NBCNews.com in October.

Hillary Frey was previously editor-in-chief of Yahoo! News. In her new role at NBCNews.com, she will direct the digital operation’s national, international and investigative coverage. Prior to Yahoo!, she was managing editor of AdWeek, overseeing the redesign and relaunch of AdWeek.com as well as the magazine. Earlier in her career, she ran Politico’s media and society coverage, and oversaw The New York Observer’s media and culture desks.

Danielle Friedman joins NBCNews.com from Newsweek and The Daily Beast where she was News Director for Beast TV and Special Editorial Projects. In her nearly four years at The Daily Beast, she also served as a senior editor, homepage editor and a reporter.

Tracy Connor was previously a senior writer and editor at the New York Daily News, breaking and covering major stories for The News' print editions and website for 10 years. She previously was a staff writer at the New York Post and United Press International.

Erin McClam was a top stories editor at The Associated Press and managed the wire’s financial markets team. In his 12 years at The AP, he also served as a federal courts reporter and national writer.

Rachel Rique was previously operations director at vente-privee USA, the joint venture owned by American Express and vente-privee, the progenitor of the online flash sales business model in Europe. She also was editorial chief of staff for Patch.com, managing editor of NBC’s 10 local news websites and a photo editor at The Associated Press and AOL.

Hasani Gittens joins NBCNews.com from The Daily where he was a news editor. He previously was managing editor of NBCNewYork.com and also was an editor, rewriteman and reporter at the New York Post for seven years.

Megan Friedman was homepage editor of TIME.com, curating the coverage across the website and writing for TIME magazine's print and digital platforms.

Ben Popken previously led Consumerist.com, first for Gawker Media and then as the site's managing editor for Consumer Reports.

Matthew DeLuca was a reporter/researcher at Newsweek & The Daily Beast. He previously interned with investigative reporter Wayne Barrett.

About NBC News Digital Group
NBC News Digital Group is a collection of innovative and powerful news brands that deliver compelling, diverse and visually engaging stories on your platform of choice. NBC News Digital features world-class brands including NBCNews.com, tv.msnbc.com, TODAY.com, theGrio.com, NBCLatino.com, NBCPolitics.com, EducationNation.com, NightlyNews.com, Meet the Press, Rock Center, Dateline, Newsvine, Breaking News and the existing apps and digital extensions of these respective properties. We provide something for every news consumer with our comprehensive offerings that deliver the best in breaking news, segments from your favorite NBC News shows, live video coverage, original journalism, lifestyle features, commentary and local updates.


For more information contact:

Meghan Pianta
NBC News
e: meghan.pianta@nbcuni.com

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