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In a memo to staff sent Wednesday, CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker announced that the network has filled out its new global climate coverage team.
“This new team, led by Brandon Miller and Rachel Smolkin, will greenlight, assign resources and advocate for more prominent placement on all our platforms to ensure stories covering our climate have a powerful impact,” writes Zucker. “Just like the Race & Equality team, this is not a siloed effort, but a team leading and guiding the whole network to do more great work across all beats, with key positions embedded across the organization. This team will work in tight coordination with Bill Weir, our Chief Climate Correspondent, and his team who are hard at work telling stories of the climate crisis all over the world.”
Angela Fritz has been named senior editor for the team, working closely with domestic and international newsgathering as well as with the aforementioned Miller. Fritz is an atmospheric scientist and joins CNN after seven years at The Washington Post, where she most recently was an editor for the general assignment news desk. This is Fritz’s second stint at CNN — she was previously a weather producer in Atlanta from 2010 to 2011.
John Keefe has been named senior data and visuals editor. Keefe will build new ways for readers to see the impact of climate change as part of CNN’s Visual News team. He will work closely with the entire climate team to identify opportunities for data and visuals-driven journalism. Before joining CNN, Keefe was a graphics and multimedia editor at The New York Times, where his work covering coronavirus was part of the paper’s 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.
Angela Dewan has been named international editor. She will serve as the main point of contact on climate coverage internationally, both editing and contributing her own written reporting to coverage across platforms. Dewan has been at CNN since 2016 and most recently was a senior digital news producer for CNN International, where she wrote and edited news and analysis. Before coming to CNN, Dewan was an editor at Agence France-Presse in Asia.
Ella Nilsen has been named Washington reporter. Nilsen will focus on climate-related policy and agency news, and she joins CNN from Vox where she covered the White House and Biden administration’s climate and infrastructure plan. She also covered Congress and the 2018 and 2020 elections. Nilsen will work in coordination with Kristen Holmes, whose coverage of agencies includes climate and environmental policy in Washington.
Rachel Ramirez has been named general assignment writer. Ramirez will focus on breaking news, trending stories and deeply reported narratives that help CNN readers understand how the climate crisis affects all aspects of their lives. Ramirez joined CNN in early June after a year of freelancing, during which time she wrote for Vox, HuffPost, The Guardian and Grist. Ramirez also serves as the co-lead of the Asian American Journalists Association’s Pacific Islander Task Force.
“The collaboration in recruiting and shaping this outstanding team is something I am very proud of,” added Zucker. “Thanks to Ramon Escobar and his relentless and thorough team for sourcing hundreds of candidates, and thank you to Meredith Artley, Virginia Moseley and Deborah Rayner for their continued leadership. I additionally want to thank Brandon, Rachel, Matthew Hilk, Kaeti Hinck, Cathy Straight and Inga Thordar for their collective work building this team.”