With her new position as president of MSNBC, Rashida Jones becomes the highest-ranking black woman in the TV news industry. Illustration by Kim Ly.
Fountain Valley High School

Rashida Jones to take over MSNBC, achieve milestone

MSNBC, home to media brands like “The Rachel Maddow Show” and “Morning Joe,” is an American-based news channel that will face a change in their leadership as Rashida Jones succeeds Phil Griffin as the new MSNBC President.

Jones, a senior vice president of MSNBC and NBC News, took over for Griffin, who was the MSNBC president for 12 years and part of the NBC channel for 25 years, on Feb. 1. Jones became the first Black woman to run a major television news network.

Jones’ promotion was announced after Cesar Conde, the chairman of NBC News, shared his hopes for more diversity in gender and color in a written memo to staff.

“[S]he leads with a laser-like focus and grace under pressure,” Conde wrote.

Jones joined NBCUniversal News seven years ago after taking charge of directing live weather channels. In April 2020, she was also in charge of maintaining the image for NBC’s daytime news coverage. By mid-October, Jones had produced two town-hall events with Donald Trump and Joe Biden in addition to driving major news coverage on the COVID-19 pandemic, Black Lives Matter protests and presidential election.

“Rashida knows and understands MSNBC, in part because it’s where she started when she first joined NBCU seven years ago,” Conde wrote. “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.”