THE BLOG Hires Dafna Linzer Amid Launch Preparations

MEET THE PRESS -- Airdate 05/31/09 --Pictured: -- Richard Wolffe, author, 'Renegade: The Making of a President' appears on 'M
MEET THE PRESS -- Airdate 05/31/09 --Pictured: -- Richard Wolffe, author, 'Renegade: The Making of a President' appears on 'Meet the Press' with moderator David Gregory, in Washington D.C., May 31, 2009.. (Photo by William B. Plowman/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Richard Wolffe, vice president and executive editor of, updated staff on the upcoming launch of the cable network's website and about new key hires, including ProPublica's Dafna Linzer, according to a memo obtained by The Huffington Post.

As we get closer to the launch of the brand-new, I want to update everyone on the outstanding journalists we have added to our team.

Dafna Linzer has just joined us as Managing Editor. An award-winning journalist, Dafna was senior investigative reporter at ProPublica, where she most recently broke news on President Obama's dismal record on presidential pardons. Previously, Dafna was national security reporter at The Washington Post, where she led the pack on the futile hunt for WMD in Iraq. As managing editor, Dafna will work with reporters, contributors and editors on site content. She joins Sam Go, who is now director of, on the leadership team.

Our central group of reporters is a great resource for both our digital space and our TV shows.

Geoff Cowley joined us earlier this year as our health reporter, covering everything from Obamacare to anti-obesity. A distinguished journalist, Geoff was health editor at Newsweek for the best part of two decades, winning a shelf full of awards for his coverage of HIV/AIDS. Geoff left Newsweek to become associate NYC health commissioner, and he later worked for Planned Parenthood.

Trymaine Lee joined late last year as our national reporter, with a special focus on the untold stories of poverty, violence and race in our cities and rural communities. Trymaine was previously a reporter at The New York Times and joined us from the Huffington Post, where he was widely credited with raising the Trayvon Martin story to national prominence. Trymaine was part of the reporting team that won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize at the Times-Picayune in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Zach Roth is a national reporter with a special focus on politics. He was previously a senior reporter at Yahoo News, where he earned many plaudits for his innovative and moving work on the long-term jobless. His past work for the Washington Monthly, on the problems of the patent system, was honored with a place in the congressional record. He has also written for The Atlantic, The New Republic, The Daily Beast, Slate, and Salon, among other outlets.

We continue to add reporters to our show teams, writing both for the show pages and the broader site on specialist issues.

Meredith Clark joined the "UP" and "MHP" teams last week from Rolling Stone, where she worked closely with Jane Timm. Jane recently joined Drew Katchen on the "Morning Jo"e team and has made a huge contribution to Mika's presence online. Aliyah Frumin at "Hardball," Morgan Whitaker at "PoliticsNation," and Erin Delmore at "Jansing & Co." and "Andrea Mitchell Reports" have all blazed a trail in coverage for their shows and across the site. Ned Resnikoff has brought expert labor coverage to "The Ed Show." And Claire Kim, alongside Sarah Muller, has elped "The Last Word" to build substantial traffic to its show page.

The social and community team under Farra Ungar, our senior manager of social media, is also adding strength as we near launch. Colin Jones joined as social media editor last week, with a focus on honing the voice and presence of MSNBC across platforms. He joins us from the Daily News where he rose to the position of social media editor in just two years.

Whether you're looking for original reporting, contributors on air, or support for extending your shows into the social media space, we're here to help.

Feel free to email/call if you have any questions, concerns or comments.

All best,