NBC News Reverses Decision to Hire Former RNC Chair After These Top Anchors Protest

"The fact that Ms. McDaniel is on the payroll at NBC News, to me, is inexplicable," said MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow.

Former Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel
Ronna McDaniel will no longer be a contributor to NBC News. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

It seems just as soon as former Republican National Convention chair Ronna McDaniel was picked to be a contributor on NBC News, she was already out the door. Yesterday (Mar. 26), the news network reversed its decision to hire McDaniel after backlash from NBC News staffers and other NCBUniversal employees, including a few high profile on-air talent. 

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NBCUniversal announced the hiring of McDaniel on Mar. 22. Since then, several NBC and MSNBC on-air hosts have expressed their discontent. The list includes Joy Reid, Jen Psaki, Nicole Wallace and Lawrence O’Donnell. 

Here are some standout  responses: 

Rachel Maddow

Maddow is the most popular host on MSNBC, and she opened her show with a message to NBC News urging them to fire McDaniel. “The fact that Ms. McDaniel is on the payroll at NBC News, to me, is inexplicable,” Maddow said. “And I hope they will reverse their decision.” 

Chuck Todd 

The former Meet the Press host appeared on his old segment, now hosted by Kristen Welker, and condemned the network for having her interview McDaniel on the show a day after the news of the hiring broke. McDaniel’s appearance was apparently unrelated to her new role, but Todd used the platform to protest the company’s decision anyways, saying the decision made NBC News journalists “uncomfortable.”  

“I think our bosses owe you an apology for putting you in this situation because I don’t know what to believe,” Todd said to Welker on Meet the Press on Sunday (March 24.) She wants us to believe that she was speaking for the RNC when the RNC was paying for it. She has credibility issues that she still has to deal with. Is she speaking for herself or is she speaking on behalf of who’s paying her?” 

Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski

The co-hosts of Morning Joe (who are also spouses) made sure to let viewers know that they did not support NBC News’ decision to hire McDaniel. Scarborough said the two learned about the hiring on Friday when the news broke for everyone else. 

Brzezinski said that she hoped NBC News would reverse the decision and that McDaniel was not welcome as a guest on Morning Joe

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

NBC News Reverses Decision to Hire Former RNC Chair After These Top Anchors Protest