Dec 7, 2020 - Economy

Rashida Jones named president of MSNBC

Rashida Jones

Photo: Courtesy of MSNBC

Rashida Jones will be the next president of MSNBC, Axios has confirmed. She will replace longtime MSNBC executive Phil Griffin when she starts on Feb. 1.

Why it matters: Griffin has been with MSNBC since it was founded 25 years ago and has worked in the NBC News family for 35 years. His legacy includes hiring and elevating major talent, including Rachel Maddow, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinksi, as well as overseeing the launches of major programs both in daytime and prime time.

Details: According to a note sent to staff by Cesar Conde, chairman of NBCUniversal News Group, Griffin let Conde know after the election that he wanted to leave. He has agreed to stay on at MSNBC through the end of January to ensure a smooth transition. 

Jones is a well-respected industry veteran, and she's been with MSNBC for seven years.

  • In his note, Conde credited Jones with having helped lead the company through major breaking news events this year, including the pandemic and the election.
  • She is credited with having helped the network launch a slew of digital products, including NBC News' new streaming service, NBC News Now.

The big picture: The move is the first major shakeup in the news division under Conde, who was appointed head of the newly formed NBCUniversal News Group — which includes MSNBC, CNBC and NBC News — in May.

  • Earlier this year, Conde said that he wanted to eventually have 50% of news organization employees be women and 50% of their total workforce be people of color.
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