CNBC Beefs Up Its Digital Team

By A.J. Katz 

CNBC continues to invest in CNBC Digital in 2017, and the network made a number of staffing announcements this past Thursday which they feel will strengthen the team.

New hires, all of whom will report to Jeff McCracken, include Spencer Kimball as news editor, Christina Wilkie as a Washington-based politics reporter, Leslie Josephs as a CNBC airline reporter covering airlines, the DHS and travel. and Lauren Hirsch as a CNBC retail and consumer reporter.

The below internal memo to staff was sent by CNBC svp and executive editor of CNBC Digital Jay Yarow:

I am pleased to announce some recent additions to the CNBC Digital group.

Jeff McCracken has hired a number of folks to his growing team:

• Spencer Kimball joins as a News Editor on the breaking news team. He has relocated to New York from Chicago, where he spent two years as U.S. editor of Handelsblatt Global, the English edition of the daily German business newspaper. While there, Spencer worked in breaking news, writing, translating and editing articles. Before that, he worked in several positions at Deutsche Welle, Germany’s international broadcaster. Spencer graduated from Centre College with a bachelor’s degree in International Studies and German, and speaks three languages.
• Leslie Josephs joins the team as an Airline Reporter, covering airlines, the Department of Homeland Security and travel issues. She was most recently a travel and transportation reporter at Quartz. Before that, she spent more than five years at The Wall Street Journal covering stocks, ETFs, small business and commodity markets, including what was then the budding market for premium-grade coffee and chocolate. Previously, she was a reporter for Dow Jones and the Associated Press in Lima, Peru. Before working in journalism, Leslie was a travel agent at student-and-youth-focused Council Travel and STA Travel. She graduated from Emerson College with a bachelor’s in Journalism.
• Lauren Hirsch joins as a Retail and Consumer Reporter. Prior to CNBC, she was at Reuters – first as a reporter, later as a team leader – where her focus was on breaking deals in the consumer and retail sectors. Her scoops include Bass Pro Shops’ $5 billion bid for Cabela’s, Restaurant Brands International’s $1.8 billion acquisition of Popeyes, Dr. Pepper’s $1.7 billion acquisition of Bai Brands and Abercrombie & Fitch’s sale process. (She’s already delivered a nice Toy’s R Us scoop for CNBC!) Before that, Lauren worked at Mergermarket, where she covered consumer and retail M&A, first as a reporter and later as an editor. She studied comparative literature at Cornell University and has her MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.
• Christina Wilkie joins as a Politics Reporter based in Washington, covering the Trump administration. Previously, she was a White House reporter for The Huffington Post, a beat she took over in January after more than five years as a National Political Reporter, during which she focused primarily on lobbying, money in politics and the influence industry. During the 2012 and 2016 presidential campaigns, Christina covered the Republican field from the primaries through Election Day, producing breaking news and investigative stories with an emphasis on the candidates’ private sector experience and their economic proposals. Prior to joining The Huffington Post in 2011, Christina reported for The Hill, where she wrote In the Know, a blog and weekly column on Congress and the culture of Capitol Hill. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Trinity College.
Elizabeth Gurdus is now in a staff position, full-time as a News Associate, working as a digital producer for CNBC’s “Mad Money w/Jim Cramer.” Prior to joining CNBC, she held internships at WABC,, the Observer, and Vice News, covering a range of fields including local news, politics, and commentary. Elizabeth graduated from NYU in May 2016 with a dual bachelor’s degree in journalism and dramatic literature.
Berkeley Lovelace Jr. also joins in a full-time staff position as a News Associate, covering breaking news and helping mine CNBC’s television guests. He started at CNBC in May 2016 as a Fellow before becoming a News Associate. Prior to CNBC, he worked with the MU School of Journalism and The Associated Press in New York on developing new ways to tell stories using 360 video and virtual reality. He holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Missouri.

Additionally, Jenna Goudreau has hired Abigail Hess in a full-time staff position as a News Associate based at 1221. Abigail is already a familiar face on the Make It team by way of the CNBC News Associate program and covers careers and education, reporting to Kathryn Dill. Before CNBC, Abby worked as a research analyst at Third Bridge Group and interned at Amazon. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in media arts and sciences and political science from Wellesley College.

Please join me in welcoming Spencer, Leslie, Lauren, Christina, Liz, Berkeley and Abigail to CNBC Digital.