MSNBC made history on Monday with groundbreaking news that will change the television landscape at large.
CNN reports that NBCUniversal News Group Chairman Cesar Conde announced that senior vice president Rashida Jones will become the new president of MSNBC, making her the first Black person in history to head a major cable network.
“Rashida knows and understands MSNBC, in part because it’s where she started when she first joined NBCU seven years ago,” Conde shared 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.”
NBC News reports Jones began her career at MSNBC in 2013 and rose through the ranks to become senior vice president for specials in 2017. Her portfolio was further expanded earlier this year after she she was put in charge of MSNBC’s daytime and weekend news schedule.
According to Conde, Jones has been integral in guiding MSNBC’s coverage of the pandemic, the social unrest and protests that broke out in June, and the 2020 election presidential debates — two of the most-watched in TV history.
She also helped out with influential network series “Justice for All” and “Climate in Crisis” as well as the team that prepped NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker for her role as moderator in the final 2020 presidential debate.
Jones will be taking over for Phil Griffin — the network’s president for the past 25 years — who will be stepping down from his role shortly following the President-elect’s inauguration in January.
“At MSNBC, Phil has built something remarkable,” Conde continued in his email. “He leaves the network in the best shape it has ever been.”
In his company memo, Conde revealed Griffin came to him shortly after the presidential election and shared he felt confident about his departure from the network stating “the time felt right to hang up my cleats.”
“We’ve been blessed with spectacular talent at every level,” Griffin wrote in an email to the company. “I admire the commitment, the camaraderie, the scrappiness, the pure love everyone has for this place. MSNBC is about humanity. The creativity, the compassion, the fact you all care so much. And that is what I will miss the most.”
Jones is set take over Griffin’s role starting Feb. 1, 2021.