Matt DeRienzo has joined the Hearst Connecticut Media Group as vice president of news and digital content, a position in which he will be overseeing the group’s eight daily and 13 weekly newspapers, along with their 21 news websites.

He joins Hearst at a time of great challenges for traditional newspapers, which remain at the core of the group’s business.

“One thing we have to keep in mind is that Hearst Connecticut Media is, by far, the largest news-gathering organization in the state,” DeRienzo said. “So our challenge will be to organize our newsrooms and to organize our priorities and vision so that the group really feels and acts like its size. And our size gives us the flexibility to focus on the things that nobody else can do — enterprise and investigative work.”

DeRienzo, 42, comes to Hearst as the executive director of LION, or Local Independent Online News, a nonprofit group that represents more than 200 on-line news organizations in the United States and Canada. He also has served as assistant managing editor of The Danbury News-Times and as the editor of the New Haven Register, The Middletown Press and The Torrington Register-Citizen.

He’s been in journalism all of his adult life, starting out at 18 as a reporter for the Westbrook (Maine) American Journal. He later returned as the paper’s managing editor.

DeRienzo, of Litchfield, also is an adjunct professor at Quinnipiac University and the University of New Haven. He is a 2018 Punch Sulzberger fellow at Columbia University School of Journalism.

“Matt's 25-year career as a reporter, editor and publisher ideally positions him to lead our news efforts in our mission to provide essential news to Connecticut's communities,” said Paul Barbetta, group president and publisher. “I'm confident he'll focus on ambitious journalism while fostering collaboration and a cohesive vision for our news coverage and across all platforms.”

He replaces Barbara Roessner, the former executive editor, who retired in July, although Barbetta said that his duties will likely expand in the coming weeks and months beyond those assumed by Roessner.