Phil Griffin has been named President of MSNBC, continuing to report to NBC News President Steve Capus.
Griffin was named NBC News SVP in April 2005, and was given “executive-in-charge” status in June 2006, overseeing day-to-day management of the cable network. He has been with MSNBC since its launch in 1996, and has been with NBC for more than 25 years.
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Brian Williams, Steve Capus, Phil Griffin and Dan Abrams at MSNBC’s 10th anniversary party in July 2006.
NEW YORK – July 16, 2008 – Phil Griffin, a veteran of NBC News for more than 25 years, has been named President of MSNBC. The announcement was made today by NBC News President Steve Capus, to whom Griffin will continue to report.
“I can think of no better person at no better time to fully take the reigns at MSNBC than Phil,” said Capus. “The team at MSNBC has accomplished an extraordinary feat in the past 12 months — and Phil was the guiding hand in all of it. As MSNBC is poised to reach new levels, its time for him to be able to direct his full-time attention to one of the most important assets we have at NBC News. I want to congratulate him on this promotion — its incredibly well-deserved.”
Griffin, who has had executive oversight for MSNBC since 2006, will take over all day-to-day management issues at MSNBC. Under his leadership, MSNBC has soared in the ratings. The network’s primetime ratings are up 54% in the first half of 2008, propelling MSNBC into the tightest race with its cable news competitors since 2001. In addition to his responsibilities at the 24-hour cable news channel, Griffin will also oversee NBC News’ Specials coverage.
“I’ve been there from the beginning, so I couldn’t be happier to get this position,” said Griffin. “It’s a really exciting time at MSNBC and everyone — on the air and behind the scenes — has pulled together to help create the success we’ve had this year. We’ve really found our voice as ‘The Place for Politics.’ I really believe this is our time.”
Phil Alongi will remain as executive producer of NBC News Specials, reporting to Griffin. In that capacity, Alongi also oversees all of NBC News’ political coverage.
Griffin was named Senior Vice President at NBC News with oversight responsibility for America’s number-one morning program, “Today,” in April 2005. A year later he added oversight of MSNBC to his responsibilities. Prior to that, he was vice president of primetime programming for MSNBC, overseeing all primetime programming for the network including “The Abrams Report,” “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” and “Scarborough Country.”
Griffin has been with MSNBC since its launch in July 1996. He has produced several programs for the cable network including “Hardball with Chris Matthews” from 1999-2004. At MSNBC’s launch, Griffin produced “Internight,” hosted by Tom Brokaw, Katie Couric, Bryant Gumbel, Bob Costas and Bill Moyers featuring newsmakers, artists and authors. Griffin also produced “The Big Show with Keith Olbermann” from 1997-98.
Prior to becoming an executive producer at MSNBC, Griffin was the senior broadcast producer of NBC News’ “Nightly News with Tom Brokaw” since 1992, where he oversaw domestic stories on a daily basis. Griffin traveled extensively with Brokaw on major breaking news events to Somalia, Moscow and the Middle East.
In 1995, Griffin went to Los Angeles to head up NBC News’ coverage of the O.J. Simpson Trial. Prior to that, he was the American Close-Up segment producer for “Nightly News” beginning in 1991. From 1988-1991, Griffin was a writer/producer for “Today,” where he covered stories including the Persian Gulf War, the San Francisco earthquake and the invasion of Panama. This marked Griffin’s return to “Today,” where he worked from 1983-1987 as a writer/producer. Griffin left “Today” in 1987 to join “USA Today: The Television Show” as senior producer until 1988. He began his career at CNN in 1980, where he was a producer for three years.
Griffin is a graduate of Vassar College, with a B.A. in English. He and his wife Kory Apton reside in Manhattan with their two children.