In a move that further integrates the NBCUniversal cable news network and its NBC News unit, the network has tapped NBC News SVP Editorial Janelle Rodriguez to head up MSNBC’s daytime schedule. Rodriguez will report to MSNBC president Phil Griffin and NBC News prez Deborah Turness.
The move follows MSNBC’s increased focus on breaking news and away from opinion programming, with the addition of special reports from Brian Williams, and the programs featuring Andrea Mitchell, Kate Snow and Thomas Roberts.
Last October, Dafna Linzer was named managing editor of politics for NBC News and MSNBC. Similarly, that announcement said Linzer would report both to Griffin and Turness, but “with a dotted line to Ken Strickland.”
Below is this morning’s memo to staff from Griffin:
I’m pleased to let you know that I’ve asked Janelle Rodriguez to officially lead MSNBC dayside coverage in addition to her duties as SVP Editorial, NBC News, and her leadership role at Nightly News. Janelle will report to both me and Deborah and will work closely with our dayside management team, including Izzy Povich, Pat Burkey and Rashida Jones.
As you know, Janelle has been partnering with the dayside team since January and has been essential to guiding the intense political coverage by both NBC News and MSNBC over the past few months. She is a strong editorial leader who fully understands what a formidable force we create when working together, combining resources, and sharing expertise across both networks.
MSNBC’s focus on breaking news in the day is a long game and we’re still in the early days, but these first six months prove we’ve got the best team in place to win. Thanks to your hard work and creativity, we’ve seen measurable success in a short time — both in the on-air coverage and in the ratings. Our teams are working overtime to produce smart, dynamic live coverage from primary states and major news events around the country. And it’s paying off: in February, MSNBC’s 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. dayside programming was up +166% in the demo, while FOX was up 10% and CNN was down 2%.
We see even greater potential for MSNBC’s future, and are building the foundation for a long-term strategy that extends far beyond the campaign season. Janelle is uniquely positioned to drive that effort in dayside.