MSNBC named Rashida Jones as the network’s president, people familiar with the matter said, a major shake-up at a news channel that has raised its profile with political coverage but struggled to keep pace with rivals this year.
Ms. Jones, who is currently serving as senior vice president for MSNBC News, is succeeding longtime network president Phil Griffin, catapulting her to one of the highest echelons in television news and making her the first Black female executive to run a major general news cable network.
Ms. Jones will officially take over for Mr. Griffin in February, NBCUniversal News Group Chairman Cesar Conde said in a note to employees Monday.
The elevation of Ms. Jones, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, is the first major executive change made by Mr. Conde, who took over the NBCUniversal unit in May. NBCUniversal is a unit of Comcast Corp. CMCSA 0.46%
Ms. Jones has been in NBCUniversal’s news group for seven years, serving as an executive producer and managing editor before being promoted to her current position. In her most recent role, she helped oversee coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and the 2020 presidential election.
“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,” Mr. Conde said in his note.
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SOURCE: The Wall Street Journal, Benjamin Mullin and Joe Flint