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CNN and MSNBC want to sign White House press secretary Jen Psaki to host a show on cable news
Puck’s Dylan Breyers described the two networks’ push for Psaki as “feverish.” Executives at both networks recently flew to Washington to recruit Psaki, who plans to leave the White House this year.
CNN and MSNBC believe Psaki could spark their ratings, as both networks continue to struggle without Donald Trump to focus on.
Psaki is a promising television prospect. She’s charming, a bit condescending, and loyal to those above her. Those are three must-have qualities on television.
Psaki would also join a list of former White House communications staffers turned media talents, including Kayleigh McEnany (Fox News), George Stephanopolous (ABC), and Nicolle Wallace (MSNBC) — all of whom are successful hosts.
If Psaki’s television hopes are aggressive, MSNBC is more optimal than CNN. Remember, primetime host Rachel Maddow has the option to terminate her daily primetime show in April. MSNBC reportedly knows it doesn’t have a viable replacement option on its roster. So could Psaki become the next Rachel Maddow?
In terms of reach in liberal media, viewership data says there is only one Maddow. Yet Psaki has more upside than MSNBC’s other options, like Nicolle Wallace, Joy Reid, and Chris Hayes. The Jen Psaki Show might be as good as it gets for MSNBC.
By the way, is CNN finally ready to admit it has a clear liberal bias? While MSNBC is open about its bent, CNN maintains it’s a moderate alternative. Yet over the past year, CNN has signed Jemele Hill, offered Maddow $20 million a year, and is now aggressively recruiting Joe Biden’s press secretary. CNN, let us know if are ready to come clean.
Ultimately, look for Psaki to have options beyond television in a changing media landscape. Spotify and AppleTV+, two platforms that plan to make a splash in news-talk, have the resources to outbid MSNBC and CNN for Psaki’s services.