EXCLUSIVE: MSNBC Shakeup Puts in Place New Dayside Programming Leadership


MSNBC implemented a big shakeup in programming this week, Mediaite has learned, appointing SVP of programming and development Jonathan Wald and MSNBC executive editor Dan Arnall to lead dayside. The former head of dayside, NBC News SVP Janelle Rodriguez, will take control of NBC News Now, the network’s streaming service.

The changes were announced company-wide at 9 a.m. Wednesday. A source told Mediaite that the new organization returns MSNBC to its former structure: dayside will be managed in two blocks, with Wald taking over 9 a.m. to noon and Arnall taking noon to 4 p.m. Wald will also continue to oversee the network’s primetime shows, alongside MSNBC president Phil Griffin.

Rodriguez will continue to lead newsgathering and editorial for MSNBC dayside, NBC Nightly News, in addition to her job for the network’s streaming service. Show producers, however, will report to Wald and Arnall.

One source familiar told Mediaite the changes came amidst mounting complaints from NBC News chief Andy Lack about a dip in MSNBC’s ratings following the end of the Mueller investigation. In May, ratings for the network in the advertiser coveted 25-54 demo were down 32% year over year. MSNBC’s ratings in total viewers were flat, though it saw an increase in dayside viewership of 8%, while CNN and Fox News were down.

Lack is expected to meet with Wald and Arnall this week to discuss the changes.

NBC’s SVP of Specials Rashida Jones, who launched NBC News Now, will turn her focus to editorial projects, including debates and town halls in anticipation of the 2020 election.

Wald joined MSNBC in 2017 from CNN, where he was EP of Don Lemon’s show CNN Tonight. Before that, he was executive producer of Today and Nightly News at NBC. Arnall, the former NBC Nightly News Weekend ep, was named executive editor of MSNBC dayside earlier this year, reporting to Rodriguez.

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Editor of Mediaite. Send tips via email: aidan@mediaite.com. Ask for Signal. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin