Rashida Jones Named President of MSNBC
New York, NY
NBCUniversal News Group Chairman Cesar Conde announced that he has appointed Rashida Jones as the next president of MSNBC, and that network President Phil Griffin has decided to leave the post after a 35-year career at NBC.
“Rashida is the right person to lead MSNBC forward into a new era,” said Conde. “She’s an exceptional leader with an outstanding track record, laser-like focus and grace under pressure.”
Jones, who will report to Conde, is currently Senior Vice President, NBC News & MSNBC. In this role, she leads and serves as the executive producer of breaking news and major events for both networks, including coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, and the networks’ Decision 2020 coverage including presidential debates, town halls, primaries and special election nights, forums, and hours of on-the-ground reporting. This election cycle, Jones oversaw the production of the top two most-watched Democratic presidential debates in television history; the presidential debate in February 2020 in Las Vegas averaged nearly 20 million viewers and 13.5 million livestream views.
Jones, who has been with NBCU for seven years, also leads MSNBC dayside and weekend news programming, managing hours of live programming and newsgathering for the network, focusing on breaking news, live reporting and infusing the resources and journalism of NBC News.
“Today, MSNBC is not just a cable news network but a news brand that has unlimited opportunities to grow, deepen its relationship with the news audience, and thrive in a world defined by mobile, digital and streaming,” Conde added.
Griffin caps a 35-year career at NBC that included 25 years at MSNBC. He served as head of the network for 14 years, installing marquee MSNBC personalities like Rachel Maddow, Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski and Nicolle Wallace; and leading the network through a period of sustained growth from 2015 to 2020.
“Phil leaves the network in the best shape it has ever been,” said Conde. “Six straight record years. Each one better than the last. An extraordinary roster of anchors, journalists, producers, contributors and many more who each day create smart, in-depth news, analysis and perspective and do it in a way that is distinctive in the cable news environment – with humanity that pops through the screen.”
MSNBC will finish the pivotal 2020 election year as the #2 network across all of cable for the 3rd year in a row with a record-breaking year in total viewers and a remarkable six straight years of growth. According to Nielsen, MSNBC total day (M-Su 6am-6am), prime (M-Su 8-11pm) and dayside (M-F 9am-4pm) will deliver historic ratings. Since 2015, dayside has increased viewership by +340%, total day increased by +253%, and prime by +270% in total viewers.