Gary Grumbach ’16 to cover 2020 election campaigns for NBC News embed team

The Elon graduate and former news director of “Elon Local News” is one of 10 reporters and producers selected for NBC News’ political embed reporting class, an assignment that will run through Election Day 2020.

Elon alumnus Gary Grumbach ’16, a researcher for the NBC News Washington Bureau, has been named a member of NBC News’ 2020 embed reporting team, which will be deployed throughout the country to report on all aspects of the 2020 presidential election. Grumbach is one of 10 reporters and producers on the recently announced team, selected from an applicant pool of more than 300.

Gary Grumbach ’16. Photo courtesy of NBC News
Per an internal memo sent from NBC News President Noah Oppenheim and MSNBC President Phil Griffin, shared by TVnewser, the embedded journalists will cover the crowded Democratic primary field and early key states, with coverage lasting through Election Day in November 2020. The embeds, assigned to key states or regions, will contribute extensively to political coverage across NBC News platforms, including “Today,” “NBC Nightly News,” “Meet the Press,” MSNBC, NBCNews.com, NBC News Now and CNBC.

Grumbach and his fellow embeds have not had their specific assignments determined yet. And responsibilities are likely to shift as the Democratic field – and its nearly two dozen contenders – changes.

In his article highlighting the embed team, POLITICO’s Michael Calderone laid out what the next year and a half will look like for the journalists. He wrote: “Every four years, the networks pick a stable of young journalists who obsessively follow a campaign or move to an early voting state, racking up airline miles and hotel points while serving as the news division’s eyes and ears on the ground.”

Calderone added, “Life on the road for upward of 18 months can be grueling, but the embed gig is also a traditional stepping stone.”

A journalism major at Elon and former news director of “Elon Local News,” Grumbach shared news of his assignment on May 20 on his social media platforms.

​“Beyond excited to share that I have been selected as a NBC News campaign embed ahead of the 2020 presidential election,” wrote Grumbach on Facebook. “This means I’ll be spending nearly every day of the next 19 months traveling the country, following the many candidates as they campaign and talking to voters about the issues that matter to them. A huge thank you to my incredible support system of family and friends who have been with me every step of the way – This has been an absolute dream of mine for years.”

For updates from Grumbach, follow his Twitter account, @GaryGrumbach, as well as the hashtag #GaryOnTheGround.

This won’t be Grumbach’s first time on the campaign trail. During Winter Term 2016, Grumbach participated in Associate Professor Rich Landesberg’s political caucus course offered by Elon University’s Study USA program. As part of the course, 23 students spent 10 days in the Hawkeye State engaging with presidential hopefuls, interviewing voters, and offering real-time news coverage. Grumbach also conducted other 2016 campaign coverage in North Carolina and South Carolina.

Chuck Todd, political director for NBC News and host of “Meet the Press,” oversees the embed program with Dafna Linzer, NBC News Politics managing editor.

Since its 2004 inception, the NBC embed team has helped launch the careers of several reporters and media members. Past embeds at NBC News include Monica Alba, Shaq Brewster, Carrie Dann, Garrett Haake, Vaughn Hillyard, Jo Ling Kent, Kailani Koenig, Mike Memoli, Alex Moe, Anthony Terrell and Ali Vitali.

Grumbach has worked in several roles for the NBC News Washington Bureau since February 2017, most recently serving as NBC News Justice Correspondent Pete Williams’ researcher. As an Elon undergraduate, Grumbach interned at “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” and WFMZ 69 News in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

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