TV News Exec Rashida Jones Named President of MSNBC

Television News Executive Rashida Jones (Credit: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

Rashida Jones will be leading MSNBC as its new president starting in early 2021, NBCUniversal News Group Chairman Cesar Conde announced Monday in a press release.

“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.”

Jones will be replacing Phil Griffin, who is stepping down after 25 years at the cable news channel. Griffin began his career at NBC News 35 years ago as a producer on the Today show.

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Jones is currently the senior vice president at NBC News and MSNBC, where she helped guide the coverage of the channel over the last year and also helped in the creation of the series “Justice for All” and “Climate in Crisis” for MSNBC.

According to the network’s press release, she also helped the team that prepared NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker as moderator for the final presidential debate of 2020.

Jones’ promotion comes after Conde announced earlier this year that his goal was for the NBC News staff to be made up of 50 percent women and 50 percent people of color.

With this new promotion, Jones will become the most prominent Black woman in the cable news industry.

She first joined the cable news channel in 2013 as an executive producer for the program Jansing & Co. before serving as a managing editor and then senior vice president for NBC News and MSNBC in 2017.

Previously, she served as the news director of WIS-TV in Columbia, South Carolina, and worked at the Weather Channel for seven years before that.

Jones will begin her new role on Feb. 1, 2021.