The New York Post is reporting that MSNBC may be ready to dump its longtime president, Phil Griffin, in favor of new daytime boss Janelle Rodriguez.
If Griffin is fired, it would represent quite a reversal of fortune. Just a few years ago, MSNBC was riding high as it overtook CNN for second place in the cable news race. That led Griffin to boast that the network would beat the Fox News Channel in 2014, and he even called the top-rated network “loserville.”
As it turned out, MSNBC became the big loser. Its liberal programs began to fall out of favor, sending its ratings to 10-year lows and back to third place overall behind CNN, which was in the midst of a makeover by new president and former NBC executive Jeff Zucker.
Sources told the Post that NBC News Chairman Andy Lack’s two favorite people are Rodriguez and Today Show SVP Noah Oppenheim, and that he has been trying to “move them up.”
Since Lack’s arrival, MSNBC has ditched Griffin’s “Lean Forward” campaign and partially revamped the programming, which has stanched the bleeding for now as Griffin has virtually disappeared from the public view.
The Post speculates that Griffin could wind up at CNN. But considering his track record at MSNBC, they might want to think twice about bringing on someone who almost single-handedly destroyed the rival network.