Jen Psaki has officially joined MSNBC weeks after leaving the Biden administration, confirming months of speculation that the former White House press secretary would be making a pivot to television. Psaki will host a new streaming show for Peacock, the parent company NBCUniversal’s streaming platform, that’s expected to launch early next year, MSNBC announced Tuesday. Psaki won’t be confined to streaming: in addition to hosting the forthcoming show, she’ll be an on-air contributor to MSNBC’s cable news channel, according to the Wall Street Journal, and will also appear on NBC News programming. Psaki was said back in April to be in talks with MSNBC—reports prompting briefing-room questions, which Psaki skirted until the very end. Days before ceding the podium, she told Fox News’s Howard Kurtz that she was leaving the White House for her kids.
Psaki is “a familiar face and trusted authority to MSNBC viewers, and we look forward to her insight during this consequential election season,” Rashida Jones, the president of MSNBC, said in a statement, touting Psaki’s political experience and “perspective as a White House and Washington insider” as “the type of analysis that sets MSNBC apart.” Psaki, too, said in a statement that her time in government and politics will “fuel the insight and perspective I bring to this next chapter.” Her deal seems, at least on the surface, similar to that of fellow Biden administration alum Symone Sanders. MSNBC hired Sanders, the former top spox for Vice President Kamala Harris, earlier this year to host a show for MSNBC and Peacock.
Psaki is a big get for MSNBC, and her hire is “part of a broader effort by MSNBC to bring on partisan pundits that appeal to the network’s progressive base,” Axios reports. But adding Psaki as an analyst and Peacock host doesn’t do much to quell MSNBC’s biggest problem, which is filling Rachel Maddow’s 9 p.m. slot Tuesday through Friday. The star cable host is now only hosting her eponymous program once a week, on Mondays; the other four nights of the show—which, instead of The Rachel Maddow Show, have been retitled *MSNBC Prime—*are hosted by various guest hosts, such as Ali Velshi, who hosts a weekend show on MSNBC, and Mehdi Hasan, who hosts a nightly show on Peacock (which also now airs Sundays on MSNBC). Maybe they’ll try out Psaki, too.
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