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Friday, April 12, 2024

Your Content top editor Nik Hatziefstathiou steps down amid Delco ‘fake news’ trial, interim chiefs named




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Nik Tzimas Hatziefstathiou, otherwise known as ‘Nik the Hat' will remain CEO of the publication's parent company, Original Media Group.

Your Content—an Original Media Group Corporation publication—announced today that Hong Yu Xie will serve as interim Editor-in-Chief as its current top editor prepares to stand trial in Delaware County for an alleged “fake news” story published on Your Content in May 2019.

Nik Tzimas Hatziefstathiou, otherwise known as ‘Nik the Hat,’ who will be succeeded as Editor-in-Chief by the publication’s deputy editor, will remain CEO of Original Media Group Corporation for an undetermined period when the transition occurs in mid-September.

“Everybody has a story,” Nik Hatziefstathiou said in a statement. “With the support of our readers and sources, we at Your Content introduced Delaware County to a new breed of journalism that explored the untold stories.

“At Your Content, the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of information to the public far outweigh the dangers which are cited to justify it. There is little value in ensuring the survival of the news industry—specifically our publication—if our traditions do not survive with it.”

Nik Tzimas Hatziefstathiou, known as “Nik the Hat,” is photographed arriving to court in Marple Township, Pennsylvania, on Aug. 29, 2019. He has denied the charges. (PHOTO: JESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer for Philadelphia Inquirer)

As interim Editor-in-Chief, Xie will represent the newsroom as a member of the organization’s senior leadership team and in conversations with partners, the board, and funders. He will also guide the newsroom leadership team in managing the execution of the 2021-2022 editorial calendar, ensuring that newsroom deployment is aligned with coverage goals. 

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“I have full confidence in the response of our readers—and in the residents of Delaware County when they become fully informed of what went on behind closed doors over the past decade,” said Hong Xie, interim Editor-in-Chief for Your Content. “The political pundits have words and pieces of our confidential news gathering material which they refer to as ‘proof.’ Our reporters involved in the May 25, 2019, publication have evidence—and at trial we will understand which of those are more powerful.

“Good doesn’t lead to good nor bad to bad. Some people victimize a vulnerable child and don’t get caught. Others lie, cheat, and get elected.

“This transition will guarantee our readers continue to receive groundbreaking content without interruption.” Xie concluded.

Furthermore, Original Media Group Corporation’s Chief Communications Officer, Anthony Loro, has been promoted to interim Chief Content Officer. He will continue to hold his position at the publication’s parent company.

In his Chief Content Officer role, Loro will oversee the development and implementation of Your Content’s cross-newsroom editorial agenda, ensuring the newsroom is poised to execute its most ambitious projects at their highest level of impact. In partnership with senior newsroom leaders, Loro will provide editorial leadership and guidance on marquee stories, support mentorship and growth among newsroom staff and managers, and guide internal and external collaboration with editorial teams and partners.

“We stand by our reporting. Say authorities charged the tireless journalists who uncovered the Watergate or Catholic Archdiocese of Boston sex abuse scandals—who benefits?” Anthony Loro, Chief Communications Officer for Original Media Group Corporation, publisher of Your Content, said. “Certainly not the public or victims.

“It’s far too late for the person who started this literal courthouse catch-and-kill campaign to reverse what they intentionally set in motion. We know our team, especially Mr. Hatziefstathiou, will be on the right side of history in this dark Delaware County era.”

Anthony Loro, Chief Communications Officer for Original Media Group Corporation and Your Content’s interim Chief Content Officer. (Photo: Anthony Loro)

“The former prosecutors who spearheaded this retaliatory ’investigation’ operated with blatant disrespect for the criminal justice system and its protocols from the outset—and their argument, when isolated from all the bluster, seems to consist entirely of speculation, rooted singularly in impeached testimony that the public no longer have faith in.” Loro continued.

“Fighting political corruption and censorship is a commitment we as a publication made many years ago. It takes a voice for change. Delaware County leads the world in only 3 categories: i) Number of political prosecutions per capita, ii) operating the largest and longest-running private prison kickback scheme in American history, and iii) county officials managing to spend more in a matter of weeks in 2019 than nearly all 67 Pennsylvania counties combined that year.”

“No tipster, reader, or news-gatherer at Your Content—whether contributor, correspondent or editor—should interpret my decision to step down as an excuse to censor the news, to cover up our mistakes, or to withhold from our readers and the public the facts they deserve to know.” Hatziefstathiou added.

“The individuals who operated Delaware County like a private club for over a century ensured their mistakes were buried, not featured in headlines. Their deals were concealed, not published. Their expenditures aren’t questioned, no rumor is printed, and, in the end, no secret is revealed. Discretion is a rare and tragically undervalued quality.”

Hatziefstathiou will remain Chief Executive Officer and President of Original Media Group Corporation. Additional hires and promotions will be announced in coming weeks.

About the Upcoming Trial

On May 25, 2019, Your Content reported about an email it said it had obtained from an unidentified source. The email, allegedly sent by a supervisor with the county’s Adult Probation and Parole department, included racist language about African Americans, according to the story.

As a result of the explosive investigative report, authorities arrested Hatziefstathiou in July 2019 after executing a search warrant for his news gathering material on Jun. 24, 2019.

Hatziefstathiou, represented by defense attorneys Norm Pattis, Mark Much and Joseph Lesniak, has denied the charges and representatives for Your Content have stood by the story, which remains posted on Your Content. Attorney A. Charles Peruto, Jr. represented Hatziefstathiou for his preliminary proceedings regarding the ‘fake news’ trial and in prior contemptuous battles with local officials.

After Hatziefstathiou disputed that police were investigating the area where the drugs were purchased and questioned the cost of his prosecution, he was acquitted of all charges following a Aug. 2016 bench trial.

On Nov. 8, 2019, John Reilly, Jr., superintendent of George W. Hill Correctional Facility, was accused of misconduct by current and former employees, validating Your Content’s 2019 investigative report of systemic racism. At the time Hatziefstathiou was arrested, the county oversight board prevented the complaints of racism and abuse or power from becoming public, but Reilly faced new scrutiny from Delaware County’s incoming Democratic county council.

The Delaware County prison chief retired after the Inquirer investigation into allegations of racism on Nov 27.

Hatziefstathiou is scheduled for trial October 18.

Nik & Politics

According to 2016 public disclosures, Hatziefstathiou provided “political strategy services” to Donald J. Trump during the 2016 election. It is believed Hatziefstathiou’s methodologies and unique approaches flipped Pennsylvania, a Democratic-stronghold and swing state, in Trump’s favor.

However, Hatziefstathiou did not provide consultation services to any political candidates in the 2020 presidential election.

Following the heated election, Hatziefstathiou and his administration transformed a millennial operated political publication, Young Constituents, to a news organization targeting a unique national audience.

Your Content describes itself as a priority destination for affluent readers who love play-by-play content through the lens of those directly involved.

The vaunted brand is a trusted source that sparks conversations about pop culture with up-to-the-minute headlines and direct-from-the-source intel that speaks to our audience’s passion points.

The brand’s currency and authority firmly positions Your Content as a leading voice in pop culture, scandals, entertainment and celebrity.

Additionally, there were changes in various organizations owned or operated by Hatziefstathiou—including news programs with the standardization of Your Content-like graphics, redesigned studios and office spaces, news-format changes, and the announcement of a new division called Midnight Society to be developed by Original Media Group Corporation.

According to the publication’s masthead, “Midnight Society is a division of investigative reporters at Your Content. The team uncovers useful information for our readers and locate potential sources of interest by trawling the deep web and harvesting information from typically inaccessible areas of the Internet such as the dark net.”

Hatziefstathiou assisted both Democrats and Republicans in Pennsylvania campaigns since 2014, including but not limited to Judge Anthony D. Scanlon (R), Judge Leon Hunter (R), Judge Christopher Mattox (D/R), Judge Harry Karapalides (R), Judge Paul Bizarro (R), and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter (D). Despite Hatziefstathiou’s public image as a staunch Republican, he is a registered Democrat who asserts: “When it comes to politics, we are hated by both sides. Republicans arrest us for documenting their actions & Democrats sue us. So, we really have no reason to be in favor of one party over the other. We support candidates for morals, not parties. It’s 2020.”

Hatziefstathiou advised over a dozen political consultation firms and their representatives leading to successful political bids for the likes of Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D-PA), President Donald J. Trump (R-NY), Attorney General Kathleen Kane (R-PA), Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan (R-PA), Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer (D-PA), and assisted former President Barack Obama (D-PA) with post-presidency millennial outreach.

Leroy Evans Controversy

Some people in the political left and right criticized Hatziefstathiou for his consulting work and criminal justice reform advocacy.

“Mr. Stollsteimer and his campaign must release his emails and texts with ‘Nik the Hat,’” Delaware County Republican Party Chair Tom McGarrigle said at a Jul. 20, 2019, press conference. “Voters deserve to know if he ever tried to get the facts, like a true prosecutor would have.”

Actor Billy Baldwin informs Cameo he wants to provide Hatziefstathiou and Your Content support in regard to Leroy Evans at no cost.

Then-Delaware County Councilman county council Chairman John McBlain, a Republican, characterized the timing of the story, subsequent calls from Harrisburg regarding the email and the press conference 11 days later as “obvious coordination, political coordination,” the Daily Times previously reported.

“Nikolaos Hatziefstathiou is a registered Republican who has made a name for himself by attacking Democrats,” wrote Trevor Maloney, campaign manager for Stollsteimer and other countywide Democratic candidates, in an emailed response. “But now that he has been charged with crimes, the Republicans want us to believe that the Democrats are behind this? It’s ironic that supposed leaders in the Delaware County Republican Party are engaging in the same shameful tactics they are indignantly condemning.”


Hatziefstathiou rallied celebrities to appear at multiple political functions to expose illegal tactics and shed light on a suburban Philadelphia county in dire need of an independent investigation.

The slew of celebrities who joined Hatziefstathiou in his political endeavors included but were not limited to Taylor Swift (2018), Anne Hathaway (2016), Katy Perry (2016), Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen (2016), Billy Baldwin (2019), Hailey Baldwin Bieber (2019), Tony Goldwyn (2016), Kim Kardashian (2019 + 2020), Ice-T (2019), Snoop Dogg (2019), Lady Gaga (2016), Selena Gomez (2015), Toby Keith (2016), Kenny Chesney (2016), Good Charlotte (2019), Dog the Bounty Hunter (2019), Cee Lo Green (2015), and Demi Lovato (2021).

In 2016 Kenny Chesney told thousands of fans at Lincoln Financial Field, where he was performing, that Folcroft Borough Police Officer Christopher Dorman, who was shot seven times in the line of duty, had died.

Dorman, 25, a huge fan of Chesney, had planned to attend the concert, but instead found himself in a local hospital recovering, ABC World News previously reported.

Hatziefstathiou, a Delaware County native, reached out to his friend who happened to be the country mega-star’s manager to arrange a face-to-face conversation with Folcroft Officer Dorman.

The Folcroft PD sent Action News video of Officer Dorman speaking to Chesney on the phone.

“It was a great conversation, just in typical Chris fashion took it in stride, was laughing about things. They made some arrangements with each other,” Folcroft Police Sgt. William Bair told Action News in 2016.

Chesney confirmed the phone call on his Twitter account.

“@FolcroftPD He’s doing great. Told him we’d watch an Eagles game & have beers one day. Here’s to a speedy recovery!” Chesney said.


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