Rashida Jones, MSNBC Executive, To Be Network’s President

Rashida Jones, who is senior vice president of MSNBC, has been named president of the cable network, replacing current president Phil Griffin and making her the first Black woman to run a cable news network, the NBC News and Wall Street Journal reported Monday evening (Dec. 7).

She will officially begin her new position in February. NBCUniversal News Group Chairman Cesar Conde made the announcement in a note to employees.

Jones has worked in the NBCUniversal News Group for seven years, serving in key leadership positions before stepping into her current role. In that position, she oversaw coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, the social unrest over police violence in Black communities, and the 2020 presidential election.

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

RELATED: Joy Reid Becomes Cable’s First Black Woman Prime Time News Anchor

Griffin, who has been with MSNBC since it first started 25 years ago, had reportedly approached Conde about leaving his position after the November election.

“After the presidential election, Phil and I spoke about his desire to depart at a time of his choosing and when he felt confident about the strength of the network he loves,” Conde wrote in his note. “At MSNBC, Phil has built something remarkable. He leaves the network in the best shape it has ever been.”

The move to elevate Jones to the top news leadership position at the network is one of several Conde is making to foster more diversity there. The Journal reported that he challenged the organization to set a future goal of 50 percent or more of its staff to be women or people of color.

In addition, Joy Reid has been moved to MSNBC’s 7 p.m. time slot, left open by the departure of host Chris Matthews. Her weekend slots are being filled by journalists Tiffany Cross and Jonathan Capehart, both African Americans.

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