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CAA Drops Ronna McDaniel As NBC News Decides How to Proceed – TechVerdant

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NBC News has officially decided to part ways with its newest on-air contributor, Ronna McDaniel, the former Republican National Committee chair, just days after she was hired.

“After listening to the legitimate concerns of many of you, I have decided that Ronna McDaniel will not be an NBC News contributor,” NBC News Group chairman Cesar Conde wrote in a memo to staff Tuesday afternoon. “No organization, particularly a newsroom, can succeed unless it is cohesive and aligned. Over the last few days, it has become clear that this appointment undermines that goal.”

Separately, McDaniel has been dropped by CAA, the agency that repped her in the deal with the network, sources confirm to The Hollywood Reporter.

The former Republican National Committee chair was hired by NBC News on March 22 as an on-air contributor, and she made her NBC debut on Sunday’s edition of Meet the Press, where she was grilled by Kristen Welker.

“It couldn’t be a more important moment to have a voice like Ronna’s on the team,” NBC News senior vp of political Carrie Budoff Brown said of her hire at the time.

But the move was extremely controversial within the NBC News Group, with former Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd voicing concerns on Sunday’s show just minutes after the interview ran.

“Look, there’s a reason why there’s a lot of journalists at NBC News are uncomfortable with this, because many of our professional dealings with the RNC over the last six years have been met with gaslighting, had been met with character assassination,” Todd said on the program.

Those public concerns continued Monday, with one MSNBC host after another calling for executives to reconsider the move, including Joy Reid, Nicolle Wallace and Lawrence O’Donnell.

“To be clear, we believe NBC News should seek out conservative Republican voices to provide balance in their election coverage,” Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski said. “But it should be conservative Republicans, not a person who used her position of power to be an anti-democracy election denier, and we hope NBC will reconsider its decision. It goes without saying that she will not be a guest on Morning Joe in her capacity as a paid contributor.”

And MSNBC’s biggest primetime star, Rachel Maddow, delivered an extended monologue about the history of American fascism, connecting the echoes of the past to the current efforts to undermine elections, and noting McDaniel’s role in the 2020 effort.

“I mean, you wouldn’t hire a wiseguy, you wouldn’t hire a made man like a mobster to work at a DA’s office, right?” Maddow said. “You wouldn’t hire a pickpocket to work as a TSA screener. And so I find the decision to put her on the payroll, it’s inexplicable, and I hope they will reverse their decision.”

Read Conde’s memo:

Hey all,

There is no doubt that the last several days have been difficult for the News Group. After listening to the legitimate concerns of many of you, I have decided that Ronna McDaniel will not be an NBC News contributor.
 
No organization, particularly a newsroom, can succeed unless it is cohesive and aligned. Over the last few days, it has become clear that this appointment undermines that goal.
 
I want to personally apologize to our team members who felt we let them down. While this was a collective recommendation by some members of our leadership team, I approved it and take full responsibility for it.
 
Our initial decision was made because of our deep commitment to presenting our audiences with a widely diverse set of viewpoints and experiences, particularly during these consequential times. We continue to be committed to the principle that we must have diverse viewpoints on our programs, and to that end, we will redouble our efforts to seek voices that represent different parts of the political spectrum.
 
Take Care,
Cesar

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