NBC News Enlists Big-Name Contributors for Media Push

Getty Images (Swisher)
Ben Smith, Kara Swisher, and Claire Atkinson

Contributors include BuzzFeed editor Ben Smith and Recode editor Kara Swisher.

The media has become a part of the national story in a way that most could never have predicted before the outcome of November's presidential election.

NBC News and MSNBC, in a desire to "cover this moment — in [their] own unique way," announced internally on Friday a plan to create a new, dedicated media coverage hub. To help staff it, the company has brought on several well-known journalists to serve as online and on-air contributors.

The new media hub, which doesn't yet have a name, will be led by former New York Post media reporter Claire Atkinson, who joined the company earlier this month.

The "all-star group" the company put together to discuss media includes one existing contributor, Vanity Fair media reporter Gabriel Sherman, but also four new ones in BuzzFeed editor Ben Smith, Recode executive editor Kara Swisher, Recode senior editor Peter Kafka, and former Time Inc. editor John Huey. Media executive and journalist Steven Brill, an existing contributor, will also be part of this team.

This new team will be housed under NBC News Digital, "but they will be tasked with providing coverage to all NBC News and MSNBC platforms," according to a memo sent out by NBC News and MSNBC executives Friday morning. 

"Media is one of the biggest stories of 2017, cutting across the busy intersection of politics, technology, business and culture," the executives wrote in the memo, which was provided to The Hollywood Reporter. "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."

The goal is to put NBC News and MSNBC on the media coverage map and to own the space in a way that some online-only outlets can't.