NBC News Ends Contract with Ronna McDaniel Amid Internal and External Outcry

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Written By Vikas Jangid

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NBC News Parts Ways with Ronna McDaniel Amid Internal Backlash

In a rapid turn of events, NBC News has terminated its contract with Ronna McDaniel, the former Republican National Committee (RNC) Chair, just days after announcing her as a contributor. This decision comes amid significant internal and external criticism, marking a tumultuous few days for the network.

Source: Twitter/Dylan Byers 

A Swift Reversal

NBC News initially brought on McDaniel in an effort to diversify its political coverage with a conservative perspective ahead of the presidential election. However, the move sparked immediate controversy within the network, leading to a public outcry from prominent NBC and MSNBC personalities.

Cesar Conde, Chairman of NBCUniversal's News Group, issued a memo on Tuesday, acknowledging the disruption caused by McDaniel's hiring. Conde emphasized the importance of unity and agreement within the organization, admitting that this objective was compromised, hence the decision to part ways with McDaniel.

Internal Criticism and Backlash

The backlash against McDaniel's appointment was swift and vocal, particularly from MSNBC's leading figures such as Rachel Maddow, Joe Scarborough, and Joy Reid, who publicly condemned the decision.

They, along with the NBC NewsGuild, criticized McDaniel for her role in spreading misinformation regarding the 2020 election results, challenging the network's journalistic integrity.

This incident has highlighted underlying issues within NBC News regarding decision-making and leadership, raising questions about the coordination between the network's various platforms and programs.

The Role of Creative Artists Agency

  • Creative Artists Agency (CAA) played a pivotal role in facilitating McDaniel's engagement with NBC News, seeking contributor roles for her across other networks as well.
  • Despite securing a lucrative three-year deal worth nearly $1 million, CAA has since severed ties with McDaniel in the wake of the controversy.

The Importance of Diverse Perspectives

Despite the backlash, NBC News's intention to include diverse viewpoints in its political coverage remains a key objective, as stated by Conde in his memo. The network aims to redouble efforts in presenting a range of political perspectives, underscoring the importance of balanced and inclusive reporting.

Broader Implications

The swift decision to cut ties with McDaniel underscores the significant influence that broadcasters and on-air talent have over network decisions. This incident recalls a similar situation at CNN, where concerns raised by high-profile hosts led to the resignation of the network's chief executive, Chris Licht, last year.


NBC News's rapid reversal on hiring Ronna McDaniel reflects the complex dynamics within media organizations, highlighting the challenges of maintaining journalistic integrity while striving for diverse political representation.

As the network moves forward, it faces the task of rebuilding trust among its staff and audience, reaffirming its commitment to balanced and fair reporting in an increasingly polarized political landscape.

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