April 17th, 2024

NBC says it will cut ties with former RNC head Ronna McDaniel after days of employee objections

By David Bauder, The Associated Press on March 26, 2024.

FILE - Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel speaks before a Republican presidential primary debate hosted by NBC News, Nov. 8, 2023, at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County in Miami. Former NBC News “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd criticized his network Sunday, March 24, 2024, for hiring former Republican National Committee head McDaniel as a paid contributor, saying on the air that many NBC journalists are uncomfortable with the decision. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)

NEW YORK (AP) – NBC News will cut ties with former Republican National Committee chief Ronna McDaniel, hired last week as an on-air political contributor, following a furious protest by some of its journalists and commentators, according to a memo from the top official of the network’s news division.

The communication to network staff Tuesday from NBC News Group Chairman Cesar Conde comes four days after the network said that McDaniel had joined as a paid contributor to offer political analysis over all of its platforms, including the liberal cable news network MSNBC.

The response from journalists and others within the network was swift – and public. Former “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd criticized his bosses on the air Sunday for the hire, saying he didn’t know what to believe from her after she supported former President Donald Trump in “gaslighting” and “character assassination” following the 2020 election.

An extraordinary succession of MSNBC hosts – Joe Scarborough, Rachel Maddow, Joy Reid, Nicolle Wallace, Jen Psaki and Lawrence O’Donnell – all publicly protested the decision to hire McDaniel on their shows Monday.

“It is a sign of strength, not weakness, to acknowledge that you’re wrong,” Maddow said on her show.

Todd said that many NBC News journalists were uncomfortable with the hiring because of McDaniel’s “gaslighting” and “character assassination” while at the RNC.

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David Bauder writes about media for The Associated Press. Follow him at http://twitter.com/dbauder

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