Rashida Jones named next president of MSNBC; Becomes first black woman to lead a major cable network

by Yvonne
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Network executive Rashida Jones
is set to become president of MSNBC. The news was announced Monday. Current president, Phil Griffin, will step down after 25 years at the cable news channel, NBCUniversal News Group Chairman Cesar Conde announced.

Jones, who will take over at MSNBC on Feb. 1, is a senior vice president at NBC News and MSNBC, where she leads breaking news and major events coverage. She also oversees MSNBC’s daytime and weekend programming. She will become the most prominent Black woman in the cable news industry.

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

According to Conde, during the past year Jones has been instrumental towards helping to guide MSNBC’s coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic, the unrest and social justice protests that broke out over the treatment of Black Americans and the 2020 election. She also helped with two influential series at the network, “Justice for All” and “Climate in Crisis.”

Jones was part of the team that helped NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker prepare for her role as moderator in the final presidential debate of 2020.

Griffin started with NBC News 35 years ago as a producer on the “TODAY” show. “At MSNBC, Phil has built something remarkable,” Conde wrote. “He leaves the network in the best shape it has ever been.”

NBCUniversal, the parent company of NBC News, owns MSNBC.

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