NBC News executive Janelle Rodriguez will take over MSNBC daytime coverage
Janelle Rodriguez, senior vice president in charge of editorial for NBC News, is adding cable network MSNBC’s daytime coverage to her portfolio.
Rodriguez, who joined NBC News in late 2014, has already been involved in aligning MSNBC more closely with the broadcast news division. The network has moved away from progressive political opinion during the day for more breaking news coverage, a directional change made after Andy Lack was named chairman of NBC News and MSNBC last March.
In a staff memo obtained Tuesday night by The Times, MSNBC President Phil Griffin said, “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.” With the new assignment, Rodriguez will report to Griffin in addition to NBC News President Deborah Turness.
Rodriguez had been vice president in charge of programming at CNN before she arrived at NBC News.
MSNBC has seen some ratings progress during its daytime hours with its shift to breaking news, helped in large part by viewer interest in the 2016 presidential campaign. In February, the network was still behind Fox News and CNN among the 25-to-54 age group advertisers seek to reach with news programming, but has seen its numbers rise 116% over last year’s low levels.
“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,” Griffin said. “Janelle is uniquely positioned to drive that effort in dayside.”
While MSNBC can point to gains in daytime, it has lagged well behind Fox News and CNN when all three have covered presidential primary results, typically a showcase for cable news political units. Former “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams has fronted the MSNBC coverage with prime-time host Rachel Maddow.
Williams is used during the daytime hours for major breaking news stories, but has no regular program or time period in which he regularly appears.
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