Longtime MSNBC exec Izzy Povich is leaving, cable news network president Phil Griffin announced to staff this afternoon. Povich was named VP talent and development in 2013; back then, Povich’s name had surfaced on the reported short list of candidates to replace Jim Bell as exec producer of NBC News’ Today. Povich, who formerly produced Lawrence O’Donnell and Keith Olbermann’s MSNBC programs, most recently was part of the dayside management team.
News comes about two months after Griffin announced NBC News’ SVP Janelle Rodriguez was taking over MSNBC’s dayside programming, reporting to him and to NBC News president Deborah Turness. That, in turn, was seen as another step in re-integrating MSNBC with NBC News under NBC News chairman Andrew Lack. Rodriguez had joined NBC News in January 2015, coming from CNN.
In that March memo, Griffin said Rodriguez would “work closely with our dayside management team, including Izzy Povich, Pat Burkey and Rashida Jones.”
Back in 2013, when he announced Povich was being named VP talent and development gig, Griffin wrote another memo to staff in which he noted she has been with the network since 1996, just four month after the network launched, and called her “a trusted advisor to me” who has been crucial to the success of MSNBC programs over that decade.
MSNBC noted today that Povich played a “key part” in MSNBC’s dayside ratings improvement, citing the 135% news-demo improvement last month in the 9 AM-5 PM block.
Today’s memo reads as follows:
I’m writing today with bittersweet news. Izzy Povich has decided to leave MSNBC after 19 outstanding years (from Homepage to Countdown to the revamp of MSNBC dayside this past year).
Izzy has MSNBC running through her veins. She’s dealt with historic news stories, historic egos, colorful personalities – and done it all with her trademark humor. She’s been at the heart of so much that has happened here, and has touched virtually everyone who has come through our doors, both as a leader and a mentor. She’s a brilliant and creative producer, a skillful manager, a fearless fighter and a great friend.
Izzy now has her sights set on new horizons and new adventures. I for one hope it first includes a pit-stop on a beautiful beach, drink in hand, surrounded by Molly, Ben and Andrew.
In the coming days I’ll have more news to share about our dayside leadership team. In the meantime, please join me in congratulating Izzy and wishing her well. We will certainly raise a glass (or more) to her before we let her leave the building.