Monday, July 4, 2022

Rashida Jones Becomes First Black Woman President of MSNBC

Rashida Jones  - twitter

*Rashida Jones (not to be confused with the actress of the same name) has been tapped to succeed Phil Griffin as president of MSNBC, the network announced Monday.

Cesar Conde, chairman of the NBCUniversal News Group, said in a memo to staffers that Griffin will retire early next year and Jones will take over on February 1, per Deadline. Jones will be the first Black executive to lead a major cable news network.

“After the presidential election, Phil and I spoke about his desire to depart at a time of his choosing and when he felt confident about the strength of the network he loves,” Conde wrote in a memo to staffers.

Griffin has served as president since 2008. He joined the MSNBC family when it launched almost 25 years ago. Conde wrote that he “has built something remarkable. He leaves the network in the best shape it has ever been. Six straight record years. Each one better than the last.”

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In addition to overseeing daytime programming, Jones also served as senior VP of specials for NBC News and MSNBC.

“Rashida knows and understands MSNBC, in part because it’s where she started when she first joined NBCU seven years ago,” Conde wrote. “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.”

Adding,  “As you know, Rashida currently leads coverage of breaking news and major events across NBC News and MSNBC, in addition to overseeing dayside and weekends news programming on MSNBC. In the last year alone that has meant, of course, that she has masterfully guided our coverage of the global pandemic, the social justice protests and unrest, Decision 2020, and the two most-viewed Democratic presidential debates in television history. She helped lead the preparation for Kristen Welker’s role as general election debate moderator. And she has steered many of our groundbreaking editorial series, including Justice for All and Climate in Crisis,” the memo reads. 

Conde continued, “If you’ve worked with Rashida on any of those endeavors, you know that she has an outstanding track-record and she leads with a laser-like focus and grace under pressure. I know she will be an excellent leader for MSNBC.”

As president, one of Jones’ biggest challenges will be to retain viewership following the departure of Donald Trump from the White House. 

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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