NBC News plans to dump Ronna McDaniel after staff revolt to her hiring: Report

Report of McDaniel's pending exit comes after MSNBC hosts openly called for her ouster

NBC News is planning to drop Ronna McDaniel as a paid contributor after less than a week, according to a report on Tuesday.

The report comes after the former Republican National Committee chairwoman was signed as an analyst just last Friday. What followed was a revolt by current and former staffers and unprecedented on-air rebukes of network leadership by NBC and MSNBC hosts, including stars Rachel Maddow, Joy Reid and Nicolle Wallace.

Puck News reported NBC planned to drop McDaniel and executives were deliberating over the details. It also reported McDaniel is seeking legal representation. There has not been an official network announcement about McDaniel but one is pending, reporter Dylan Byers wrote on X.

McDaniel, known for her close alliance with Donald Trump while RNC chair, came under fire immediately after her hiring was announced, due to her association with efforts to overturn Trump's 2020 election defeat and previous rhetoric that President Biden's victory was unfair. MSNBC President Rashida Jones, who initially had signed off on bringing on McDaniel, had to assure her progressive channel's talent that McDaniel wouldn't appear on their "sacred airwaves," as Nicolle Wallace put it.

Ronna McDaniel blasted by Chuck Todd

Ronna McDaniel and Chuck Todd. (Getty Images)


McDaniel has made only one appearance as an analyst, and it was to be interrogated on Sunday by "Meet the Press" host Kristen Welker, who told viewers ahead of time she was uninvolved with McDaniels' hiring. Afterward, former host Chuck Todd slammed network leadership for the hire and publicly aired the complaints of NBC journalists over bringing on McDaniel, who had been touted as an important pickup by NBC News political chief Carrie Budoff Brown.

"There’s a reason why there are a lot of journalists at NBC News uncomfortable with this, because many of our professional dealings with the RNC over the last six years have been met with gaslighting, have been met with character assassination," Todd said Sunday. He called on NBC honchos to apologize to Welker as well.

The following day, "Morning Joe" co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski derided NBC for bringing on McDaniel, with Brzezinski saying she hoped "NBC will reconsider its decision."

Beginning Monday afternoon with Wallace, one of the faces of MSNBC's political coverage and a rabid booster of the Democratic Party, partisan MSNBC hosts added their two cents in a coordinated pressure campaign against network leadership.

MSNBC host Jen Psaki, a former Biden White House press secretary who also worked for Barack Obama, defensively rejected comparisons between her hiring and McDaniel's, saying she was dedicated to public service in contrast to McDaniel. Rachel Maddow, who only hosts her show on Monday nights, dedicated half her program to attacking the hire, calling it "inexplicable."

RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel

Former Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel's tenure at NBC News appears to be over after less than a week.


"I want to associate myself with all my colleagues both at MSNBC and NBC News who have voiced loud and principled objections to our company putting on the payroll someone who hasn't just attacked us as journalists but someone who is part of an ongoing project to get rid of our system of government," Maddow said. "Someone who is still is trying to convince Americans that this election stuff- it doesn't really work, that this last election, it wasn't a real result, that American elections are fraudulent."

Some media onlookers raised their eyebrows at the apoplectic reaction from NBC and MSNBC talent, given its roster of former Democratic flacks like Psaki, Symone Sanders-Townsend, Ben Rhodes and others.

The disastrous situation underscored to critics that Trump-supporting voices are not welcome on mainstream media airwaves, although several of the hosts who ripped their bosses for bringing on McDaniel were defensive about the notion that they didn't want intellectual diversity.

"Look, this is not about Republicans versus Democrats. This is not about red versus blue. This is about truth versus lies. Service to the country versus service to one man committed to toppling our democratic system," Psaki said.

Rachel Maddow bashes NBC for Ronna McDaniel hire

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow blasted NBC's "inexplicable" decision to hire former RNC chair Ronna McDaniel. (Screenshot/MSNBC)

Instead, they argued McDaniel was beyond the pale because she was tarnished by the "Big Lie," the term often used in media for the over-arching narrative pushed by Trump that the 2020 election was stolen from him, culminating in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, his second impeachment and a subsequent federal indictment.

McDaniel did not return a request for comment.

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