Rashida Jones Replacing Phil Griffin as President of MSNBC

Rashida Jones
NBC News

Phil Griffin, president of MSNBC, will be replaced by Rashida Jones, currently a senior vice president of NBC and MSNBC, according to an announcement issued by MSNBC on Monday.

Griffin has been with MSNBC since the network’s launch in 1996 and has been its president since 2008. Jones will become MSNBC’s president on February 1.

Jones ran breaking news coverage at NBC and MSNBC and some daytime and evening programming.

Jones’s NBCUniversal executive profile credits her with leading “network-wide coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, the impeachment trial of President Trump, and the networks’ Decision 2020 coverage including presidential debates, town halls, primaries and special election nights, forums, and hours of on-the-ground reporting.”

Jones also oversaw NBC series such as Justice for All, ostensibly examining “America’s history of mass incarceration,” and Climate in Crisis, which frames floods, hurricanes, and wildfires as functions of “climate change.”

NBC Universal Chairman Cesar Conde praised Jones’s oversight of NBC’s and MSNBC’s operations pertaining to the “global pandemic” and “social justice protests and unrest” in an internal memo sent to staffers:

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.

Conde wrote that Griffin will pursue “many interests and passions outside news” without specifically identifying any of Griffin’s interests or passions.

CNN, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal highlighted Jones’s race as noteworthy:

Variety linked increased viewership of television news with Americans spending more time at home due to lockdown and shutdown decrees.

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