The New York Post‘s Page Six ran a very brief item about MSNBC’s Phil Griffin. It would be a juicy item, were it not so unbelievably wrong.
Let’s look at it line by line:
Buzz that MSNBC President Phil Griffin will soon be out at the Peacock Network is so strong that he’s even had to deny it to close friends, sources say.
It is true that Griffin has been denying the rumor to friends and acquaintances, but if you had a major newspaper writing about you, your friends would be asking you about it too.
Griffin used to report to ex-NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker, but since his departure, some say NBC President Steve Capus may show Griffin the door and take control of the cable news unit.
Here is where the item goes off the rails:
As long as he has been president of MSNBC, Griffin has never reported to Jeff Zucker. He has always reported to Steve Capus. Capus already oversees MSNBC, so the notion that he “wants to take control of the cable news unit” is ridiculous. He already has control of it.
Griffin did report to Zucker when they both worked at NBC’s “Today,” but that was over 15 years ago.
“Capus wants the place to himself,” an industry insider said.
He already has it under his control, and NBCU’s corporate structure is such that each cable network has its own President.
“It’s a domino effect — Jeff Zucker . . . Keith Olbermann . . . next, Phil Griffin.”
Zucker was pushed out because Comcast wanted its own man, Steve Burke, in charge. Olbermann was eyeing an exit for a long time, and was not shoved out the door by Comcast. What has Phil Griffin done to deserve being pushed out? MSNBC’s ratings and revenues are up since he took over.
An MSNBC rep insisted, “The rumor you heard is totally false. There’s no truth to it.”
There you go.
Will Griffin be at MSNBC forever? Probably not, but there is no reason to believe an un-bylined gossip report that can’t even get its basic facts right.