White House Press Secretary Psaki in Talks to Join MSNBC

From a Wall Street Journal story by Ken Thomas and Benjamin Mullin headlined “White House Press Secretary Psaki in Talks to Join MSNBC”:

White House press secretary Jen Psaki plans to leave the administration this spring and is in exclusive talks to join MSNBC, where she is expected to host a show for the streaming service operated by network parent NBCUniversal….

Ms. Psaki hasn’t signed any contracts with the network and has been consulting closely with the White House Counsel’s Office as she prepares to leave President Biden’s administration. She is expected to depart the White House in the coming weeks.

Ms. Psaki, who returned to the briefing room Friday after testing positive for Covid-19 last week, said she had nothing to confirm about her plans.

Ms. Psaki has served as Mr. Biden’s press secretary since the beginning of the administration in 2021 after serving in roles as White House communications director for former President Barack Obama and as the top spokeswoman at the State Department. She was a political contributor for CNN during former President Donald Trump’s term in the White House.

Ms. Psaki is expected to sign a multiyear agreement valued in the mid-seven figures over the course of the deal after receiving interest from both MSNBC and CNN. She hasn’t signed a contract in keeping with government ethics rules that have stipulations about how government employees can seek opportunities in the private sector, the people said.

One of the people said Ms. Psaki wouldn’t appear on NBC or MSNBC in her current role and hasn’t since the discussions became serious. The person also said she wasn’t involved in any discussions involving White House officials appearing for interviews on NBC or MSNBC.

Once she joins the network, Ms. Psaki is expected to serve as an on-air commentator for MSNBC on political issues and to host a show streaming on the network’s Peacock service several days a week, including on Sundays.

One of the people said Ms. Psaki expects to join MSNBC because executives there articulated a trajectory for her growth at the network over a period of several years. During the discussions, she has been represented by Jay Sures, co-president and managing director of United Talent Agency.

Ms. Psaki has suggested in the past that she was unlikely to serve as press secretary for much more than a year and wasn’t expected to be in the role ahead of the November midterm elections.

Ms. Psaki said in a January interview on ABC’s “The View” that she wasn’t certain when she would leave but noted that she is raising two young children “and I don’t want to miss things in their life either.”

“This is a job where there will be time for a new face at a certain point in time; I don’t know when that is going to be,” she said.

NBCUniversal owner Comcast Corp. has made significant investments in streaming in recent years as viewers shift away from traditional television. Cesar Conde, chairman of NBC Universal News Group, has made streaming news a major focus since taking over in 2020. MSNBC recently announced that it would stream many of its shows on Peacock after they appeared on the network’s TV channel.

The White House has often served as a springboard into television news. ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos was a top White House aide to former President Bill Clinton, and MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace and Fox News’s Dana Perino both worked for former President George W. Bush.

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