Jen Psaki plans to step down as White House press secretary later this year and cash in on A LOT of television money.
Executives from CNN and MSNBC recently had lunch with Psaki and broadcast agent Jay Sures from UTA, though they aren’t the only networks that want her.
Sources familiar with the matter told Puck News that CBS and NBC also have a strong interest in Psaki. It’s nice to feel wanted, and Psaki must enjoy having four networks that want her before she’s even left the briefing room.
Noticeably missing from the pack is ABC. So unless Psaki intimidates the notoriously insecure George Stephanopoulos, a former White House communications staffer himself, expect ABC to get involved too. Psaki would fit well with the GMA crew, and she might even make a few appearances on ABC’s The View.
In the end, I suspect MSNBC to make Psaki the most appealing offer. CBS News doesn’t have enough programming to make Psaki a star, and CNN would contradict new management’s plans to pivot away from hard liberal commentary if it signed her. And whatever roles NBC plans to offer Psaki would still be available if she signs with MSNBC since NBC News and MSNBC are both under the NBCUniversal News Group division umbrella.
MSNBC can use Psaki in a number of ways, whether as a contributor, weekly host or daily anchor. MSNBC also needs to make a splash. Rachel Maddow, the network’s sole star host, has the option to terminate her daily primetime show in April, and former late-night host Brian Williams left the network in 2021. Aside from Joe Scarborough and the racist Joy Reid, no one knows the rest of MSNBC’s staff. It’s a bunch of C-level hacks with no reach.
Psaki would give MSNBC more name recognition, and her mixture of smugness and charm would resonate well with current MSNBC viewers.
In the meantime, look for Psaki to continue to use the virality of her spats with Peter Doocy to grow her brand before heading to television.
We will just have to wait for Jen Psaki to circle back with an official answer on which network she chooses.