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MSNBC’s Rashida Jones to Make History as First Black President of a Major News Network
Jones will replace Phil Griffin, who joined MSNBC in 1996 and has been at the helm of the network since 2008.
Image Credit: Virginia Sherwood/NBCUniversal
2 minute read

Rashida Jones (no, not the Parks and Rec star) will make history as the first black executive to run a major cable news network following reports that she will take over as President at MSNBC. Jones will replace Phil Griffin, who joined MSNBC in 1996 and has been at the helm of the network since 2008.

Jones has been with NBCUniversal since 2014 and currently serves as the SVP in charge of daytime news coverage, breaking news, and specials for NBC’s broadcast news division.

“If you’ve worked with Rashida on any of those endeavors, you know that she has an outstanding track record and she leads with a laser-like focus and grace under pressure,” NBCUniversal News Group Chairman Cesar Conde said in an internal note seen by The Wall Street Journal.

Jones began her TV news career in 2000 as a producer for WTKR News 3, the CBS affiliate based in Hampton Roads, Virginia. She has also held senior positions at The Weather Channel as well as WIS-TV, the NBC affiliate based in Columbia, South Carolina. Outside of her professional career, Jones also serves as a video coach for first and second-year graduate students at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

Jones’ appointment follows a series of changes Conde has spurred as he seeks to remold the new division for the future. These changes include the “Fifty Percent Challenge Initiative,” in which the division aims for 50% of its 3,000 staff to be comprised of women and 50% to be people of color. Currently, 27% of the division’s staff identify as a person of color.


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