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Savannah Guthrie on McDaniel saga at NBC News: ‘It was an unpleasant few days’

Savannah Guthrie, a co-host of TODAY, described NBC News’ hiring and then abrupt termination of former Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel as “an unpleasant few days” at the network.

“No, I mean look, it was an unpleasant few days at our network, no question about it,” Guthrie said during an appearance this week on “The Late Show” with Stephen Colbert.

Guthrie, a longtime newscaster at the network, said she “was not in the know” about the McDaniel hire, which sparked widespread on-air protests from some of NBC’s leading talent and that of its left-leaning sister network MSNBC.

“I knew nothing about it. And look, the bosses made a decision. They reversed that decision. They acknowledged a mistake, and we moved on,” she said.

“And the only thing I’ll say about it is, number one, I didn’t have anything to do with it. But look, I think the instinct to try to have a diversity of opinions and a diversity of perspectives and voices as we cover an election is the right instinct. And it’s complex, and it’s made more complex by the politics that we have right now.”

Guthrie’s comments were first highlighted by Mediate.

In a memo to staff last week, NBCU News Group Chair Cesar Conde apologized for hiring McDaniel, which he said 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.”  

McDaniel had come under fire from NBC staffers for her comments questioning the legitimacy of the 2020 election and role in former President Trump’s efforts to overturn its result.

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