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MSNBC appoints Rashida Jones as president as the FIRST black woman to run a major cable news network

MSNBC appoints Rashida Jones as its president making her the FIRST black woman to run a major cable news network

  • Rashida Jones will take over from Phil Griffin, who joined the network at its birth
  • Jones is currently the senior vice president of MSNBC News
  • She began in local media in Virginia in 2000 and joined MSNBC seven years ago
  • Jones is respected by the network’s stars such as Rachel Maddow
  • NBCUniversal president Cesar Conde praised her work on the election

MSNBC has announced that Rashida Jones will take over as president, making her the first black woman to run a major cable news channel. 

Jones, who is currently senior vice president of MSNBC News, will succeeding longtime network president Phil Griffin in February.

She has been in NBCUniversal’s news division for seven years, serving as an executive producer and managing editor before being promoted to her current position. 

Rashida Jones will become the first black woman to lead a major cable news network

Griffin, 64, has worked at MSNBC since its launch in 1996 and as its president since 2008.

Phil Griffin has been at the network since its start and is leaving after 25 years

Phil Griffin has been at the network since its start and is leaving after 25 years

He told Cesar Conde, the chair of NBC News Group, after the election that he wanted to stand down, according to the Wall Street Journal.

‘Rashida knows and understands MSNBC, in part because it’s where she started when she first joined NBCU seven years ago,’ said Conde, in a memo to staff. 

‘She knows that it is the people who work here that make it great, and she understands its culture. 

‘She also appreciates the impact and potential of the brand.’ 

MSNBC, like all its rivals, has seen its ratings soar during the election and over the course of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Yet MSNBC’s business lags that of its two main rivals, Fox News and CNN. 

Fox News is seen securing nearly $2.98 billion in revenue from advertising and affiliate fees, according to market-research firm Kagan. 

CNN is seen capturing more than $1.72 billion. 

MSNBC, meanwhile, is expected to win just under $1.11 billion. 

Jones posted a photo on her Twitter account of preparation for the presidential debate

Jones posted a photo on her Twitter account of preparation for the presidential debate

Executives at many of the cable-news networks have been girding for a potential dip in viewership in 2021, a dynamic that is typical of coverage in the year after a presidential election.

Jones got her start in media in 2000, working at a local television station in Norfolk, Virginia, before moving on to work as a producer at The Weather Channel. 

Variety reported that Jones was well regarded among the stars of the network, and was friends with Rachel Maddow. 

She was most recently in charge of breaking-news coverage across both NBC News and MSNBC as well as daytime and weekend news programming at MSNBC. 

MSNBC recently reworked its daytime and weekend schedules in ways that give more time to Nicolle Wallace, a late-afternoon anchor who is an internal favorite at the company, and add anchors from diverse background to the network’s Saturday and Sunday schedule.

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