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NBC offered Ronna McDaniel a better contract to appear on MSNBC

MSNBC
President
Rashida
Jones
participated
in
recruiting
former
RNC
chair
Ronna
McDaniel
earlier
this
month
and
McDaniel
was
offered
a
more
lucrative
contributor
contract
after
she
agreed
to
appear
on
MSNBC
and
not
just
NBC
News,
according
to
people
familiar
with
the
matter.

NBC
News
said
on
Tuesday
that
McDaniel

who
repeatedly
backed
Donald
Trump
in
raising
questions
about
the
validity
of
the
2020
election
and
helped
organize
a
scheme
involving
alternate
electors


would
not
appear
on
the
network
as
a
paid
contributor

after
MSNBC’s
anchors
repeatedly
attacked
the
hiring
and
called
for
the
decision
to
be
reversed.

But
Jones
had
a
one-on-one
video
call
in
early
March
after
an
executive
at
NBC
News
orchestrated
the
contact,
according
to
the
people
familiar
with
the
matter,
who
spoke
on
the
condition
of
anonymity
to
discuss
sensitive
internal
discussions.

McDaniel
was
concerned
she
would
face
particularly
harsh
interviews,
and
the
liberal-leaning
viewers
would
not
respond
to
her
positively,
according
to
people
with
knowledge
of
her
concerns.
Her
original
preference
was
just
to
appear
on
NBC
News,
the
people
said,
and
early
talks
with
the
network
had
centered
around
NBC
appearances.

In
a
friendly
call
between
Jones
and
McDaniel,
the
two
spoke
about
American
politics,
their
young
children
and
the
need
to
have
differing
views
on
the
airwaves,
the
people
familiar
with
the
matter
said.
McDaniel
left
the
call
heartened,
people
close
to
her
said.

Top
NBC
News
executives
preferred
that
McDaniel
agree
to
appear
on
both
channels,
according
to
the
people
familiar
with
the
matter.
MSNBC
is
a
liberal-leaning
sister
network
to
NBC
News.

McDaniel
agreed
to
appear
on
both
networks
after
a
series
of
informal
discussions
and
the
improved
contract,
the
people
said.

NBC
executives
including
Rebecca
Blumenstein
and
Carrie
Budoff
Brown
led
the
hiring
process.
After
McDaniel
and
NBC
executives
started
talking
about
her
joining
the
network,
they
introduced
McDaniel
to
others
in
the
building
including
Jones,
a
practice
that
people
close
to
NBC
News
and
MSNBC
said
is
customary
during
the
hiring
process
of
on-air
contributors.

After
McDaniel
was
hired
and
a
backlash
ensued,
Jones
privately
told
MSNBC
anchors
on
Friday
and
Saturday
that
McDaniel
would
not
appear
on
the
network,
according
to
people
familiar
with
her
calls
last
weekend.
She
reassured
them
that
they
have
editorial
independence
over
their
respective
shows,
these
people
said.

As
of
Tuesday
afternoon,
a
person
close
to
McDaniel
said
she
still
had
not
been
notified
of
her
termination.
She
did
not
respond
to
phone
calls
seeking
comment.

McDaniel
is
preparing
to
sue
the
network
and
has
been
in
discussions
with
lawyers.
She
told
others
she
expects
to
be
paid
for
her
two-year
contract.
She
has
expressed
dismay
to
allies
that
she
was
treated
shabbily
by
the
network
after
they
heavily
recruited
her,
according
to
people
who
have
spoken
to
her,
particularly
by
executives
who
personally
wooed
her.

McDaniel’s
relationship
with
top
NBC
executives
began
last
fall,
according
to
people
familiar
with
what
took
place.
NBC
was
determined
to
secure
a
Republican
primary
debate,
repeatedly
talking
to
RNC
officials
about
their
chances
and
even
sending
star
anchor
Lester
Holt
to
Washington
for
a
pitch
meeting
at
RNC
headquarters.
RNC
officials
wanted
to
give
at
least
one
debate
to
a
nonconservative
news
outlet
in
a
bid
to
broaden
the
party’s
outreach.

After
the
RNC
gave
NBC
a
debate,
top
RNC
and
NBC
News
officials
worked
closely
together
ahead
of
the
November
event
and
developed
a
rapport,
celebrating
the
debate’s
conclusion
together
and
keeping
in
regular
touch,
the
people
familiar
with
the
matter
said.

After
Trump
began
talking
about
removing
McDaniel
as
RNC
chairwoman
earlier
this
year,
she
spoke
with
several
networks
about
a
contract
but
gravitated
toward
NBC
based
on
her
relationships
with
top
NBC
executives,
these
people
said.
There
were
multiple
conversations
and
in-person
meetings,
including
a
dinner
in
New
York
City
one
week
before
she
left
the
RNC.

Last
week,
the
network
issued
a
glowing
statement
to
the
New
York
Times
calling
her
voice
“essential”
to
understanding
the
Republican
Party.
Her
hiring
was
greeted
by
widespread
criticism
of
the
network
from
liberals
and
media
critics.

McDaniel
raised
questions
about
the
validity
of
the
results
of
the
2020
election,
suggested
there
was
“stealing,”
helped
orchestrate
a
scheme
of
alternate
electors
for
Trump
and
offered
the
lobby
of
the
RNC
for
two
of
Trump’s
lawyers
to
use,
where
they
espoused
false
conspiracy
theories
about
the
2020
election.
McDaniel
said
in
testimony
that
she
believed
the
alternate
electors
were
only
a
contingency
plan.

Ironically,
one
of
the
reasons
McDaniel
was
ousted
as
chair
of
the
party
is
that
Trump
did
not
believe
she
shared
his
belief
on
the
2020
stolen
election
and
that
she
was
doing
enough
on
“election
integrity,”
according
to
advisers
close
to
the
former
president.

“To
be
clear,
we
believe
NBC
News
should
seek
out
conservative
Republican
voices
to
provide
balance
in
their
election
coverage,”
co-host
Mika
Brzezinski
said
Monday
on
MSNBC’s
“Morning
Joe.”
“But
it
should
be
conservative
Republicans,
not
a
person
who
used
her
position
of
power
to
be
an
anti-democracy
election
denier.”

In
recent
days,
Trump
advisers
have

asked
RNC
employees
if
they
believe
the
election
was
stolen
,
making
it
a
litmus
test
of
sorts
for
being
employed
at
the
RNC.

On
Sunday,
after
former
anchor
Chuck
Todd
criticized
McDaniel
on
“Meet
the
Press,”
citing
her
actions
after
the
2020
election
and
accusing
the
RNC
of
“gaslighting”
during
her
tenure,
NBC
News
reached
out
to
McDaniel
and
her
team
to
offer
apologies,
a
person
familiar
with
the
matter
said.
Executives
signaled
to
McDaniel
that
they
would
stand
by
her
and
it
would
blow
over.

When
McDaniel
wanted
to
issue
a
statement
on
Monday
after
“Morning
Joe”
anchors
attacked
her
and
other
criticism
grew,
she
was
dissuaded
by
NBC
from
doing
so,
according
to
a
person
familiar
with
the
matter.
The
statement
would
have
been
benign
and
said
that
she
was
looking
forward
to
sharing
her
perspective
on-air.

McDaniel
learned
from
her
agent
on
Monday
that
NBC
was
likely
to
cut
ties.
She
expressed
surprise
to
others
that
her
agent
represented
others
at
NBC
News,
and
she
soon
began
looking
for
a
lawyer.

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