Crisis communications firm Sitrick and Co. is building on its roster of veteran former journalists with three hires from the news industry.

Dennis Kneale, a former CNBC and Fox Business Network correspondent, and Stuart Pfeifer, recently a Los Angeles Times health care reporter, are joining as firm members, the company said. Robin Mayper, previously a Times media researcher, will become director of research.

Michael Sitrick, the firm’s chairman and chief executive, said he selected the trio for their “track records and depth of experience.” The Brentwood company he founded 27 years ago counts former executives and attorneys on staff along with former New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Bloomberg News professionals.

“I never planned on a career in public relations, but Sitrick is not a traditional PR firm,” said Kneale, who was a top editor at Forbes and the Wall Street Journal. “It is a compelling opportunity to now work with the master."

Sitrick said he has known Kneale from “the other side of the desk” for more than 15 years, and noted his agility in tackling topics ranging from AIDS to the recession. Pfeifer, a Times reporter for 15 years, was tapped to lend expertise in biotech and pharmaceutical companies as health care becomes a “critical component” in the economy, Sitrick said. Mayper’s experience in scouring legal, government and financial records after 18 years at the Times will help clients harness data, he added.

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