With many MSNBCers in Orlando covering the massacre at the Pulse nightclub, the 20th anniversary celebration of the network at Washington D.C.’s Newseum last night was a more subdued affair. Hosted by Comcast’s David Cohen, the event was the first of two celebrations for the network with another later this summer in New York.
MSNBC went on the air on July 15, 1996. Two days later, it had its first test of covering a breaking news story. At last night’s event, NBC News chairman Andy Lack, who was one of the founders of the network, recalled the night TWA flight 800 crashed off Long Island. MSNBC anchor Brian Williams scrambled on the air with maps and models and not much else.
Williams, who has also returned to MSNBC as breaking news anchor, was there last night. In his remarks he took a moment to remember the lives lost in Orlando, which included two NBCU staffers. (That explains why he wasn’t at the WNET Gala in New York, where he and wife Jane were dinner co-chairs).
Others spotted: MSNBC president Phil Griffin, NBCU exec Yvette Miley, anchors Andrea Mitchell, Chuck Todd and Lawrence O’Donnell. Correspondent Luke Russert and other NBC D.C. staffers including Ken Strickland, Shawna Thomas, Tony Capra, and Brooke Brower; also former MSNBCer Tammy Haddad and a handful of politicos including Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA).
(Photo courtesy: Todd Dupler)