Rashida Jones to succeed Phil Griffin as President at MSNBC

Rashida Jones would become the first Black executive to run a major television news network

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MSNBC has announced its plan to shake up the network in a significant way.

WSJ reports that Rashida Jones, the current senior vice president for MSNBC News, is succeeding longtime network president Phil Griffin, making her the first Black executive to run a major television news network. Jones will officially take over in February.

Rashida Jones thegrio.com
Rashida Jones (Credit: NBC)

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Griffin, who has been at MSNBC news for 25 years, has been president of the division since 2008. A source close to Griffin shared that he approached NBC News Group chief, Cesar Conde, about leaving after the election, per WSJ. It was also known that Conde was already looking to make a change at the network.

Conde, who was promoted to chairman of the newsgroup earlier this year, was already shaking up the company’s news division his way. He challenged the division to aim for a staff of 50% women or people of color moving forward.

Shortly after taking over, he approved the decision to appoint Joy Reid as the host of her own primetime news show, The ReidOut. theGrio reported over the summer that Reid took over the popular time slot previously held by veteran journalist Chris Matthews, host of Hardball with Chris Matthews.

Reports show that MSNBC news often struggles to keep up with their rivals when it comes to other breaking news. Conde has plans to change that with Jones in the top seat.

“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.”

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Jones, who started as a managing editor before being promoted to her current position, was most recently on the scene covering coronavirus pandemic and the presidential election. White House and CNN correspondent April Ryan sent Jones well wishes with a tweet.

Congratulations to Jones on becoming the highest-ranking Black woman in the TV news industry!

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