Three big exits at the ‘Daily News,’ including ‘cornerstone’ editor Tracy Connor

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The Daily News doesn't have a permanent office at the moment thanks to Sandy. And now it's down three key journalists, too, including at least one whose departure is sure to make waves within city-desk circles.

Tracy Connor, a longtime reporter and editor at the News and one of the driving forces on its rewrite desk, gave notice earlier this week, Capital has learned.

She's headed to NBC News Digital to work for fellow News alumnus Gregory Gittrich, according to sources familiar with her plans. Gittrich was named executive editor of NBC News Digital last month amid the break-up of nbcnews.com and msnbc.com.

Connor did not respond to requests for comment. But a colleague put her exit in context: "She’s a cornerstone of that paper. For her to leave is just monumental."

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Capital also hears that fellow News rewrite veteran Helen Kennedy is on leave indefinitely for personal reasons.

The third Newser in the troika is courts reporter Janon Fisher, who told Capital that his reason for resigning is likewise personal. His wife, DNAinfo editorial director Leela DeKretser, has been in Chicago preparing for the launch of DNAInfo's new site there and so he wants to be able to spend more time with their four-year-old son.

"I have to choose between my family and my work, and in this case, I'm choosing my family," he said.

As for Connor and Fisher's last day in the News offices, well, that already happened—the paper's Financial District headquarters took on substantial flooding during superstorm Sandy several weeks ago and are expected to be closed for up to nine months. The News is scrambling to lease temporary Manhattan office space in the meantime while employees work remotely or out of the company's commercial printing plant in Jersey City.