MSNBC to Undergo Internal Reorganization

By Chris Ariens 

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msnbc_logo_sticker_3_7x2.5First on TVNewser: MSNBC is taking the next step in its evolution, with a return to its roots. The cable network, which has lost much of the ratings momentum it gained following the 2008 election of Barack Obama, will combine the digital and TV editorial teams under The Bridge, the network’s third floor newsroom at 30 Rock.

In a memo obtained by TVNewser, MSNBC president Phil Griffin, says the goal is to “create a more nimble organization with greater collaboration between teams.”

Digital writers will now sit alongside TV producers, a new video research team will be created, and bookings will be centralized to, as Griffin puts it, “bring in fresh experts and more on-the-ground reporters.” We’ve inquired about whether any jobs will be cut in the process, but have not heard back.

This reorganization is a return to the beginnings of the 18-year-old network. MSNBC launched as a joint venture between Microsoft and NBC with the idea of integrating TV and online. It was an often rocky relationship with differing ideological and corporate goals. Still, it lasted 16 years. “This is the next logical stage in our evolution,” Griffin says.

Griffin’s full note after the jump…

To Everyone at MSNBC,

Next week, we are bringing together our digital and dayside television editorial groups into one team, seated together at The Bridge, at the heart of msnbc’s operations on the 3rd floor of 30 Rock.

The Bridge will drive content across all platforms and create a more nimble organization with greater collaboration between teams. With new tools to aid editorial discovery, The Bridge will lead to more original reporting, broader story coverage and better use of social media to reach our audience on all platforms.

Three managing editors – Dafna Linzer, Rashida Jones, and Ilyas Kirmani – will jointly drive a single news-list of our top stories and output across digital platforms and dayside shows. They will direct original reporting, breaking news coverage, video production, visual assets, and bookings.

Building on the success of our recent joint coverage of Ferguson, Ebola and the elections, we will share editorial leadership, content and workflows, even as we recognize the differing needs of our TV and digital formats. With greater focus, better use of technology and resources, we can broaden the scope and lift the quality of everything we do across msnbc.

Both the msnbc website and our dayside shows will follow the decisions of the managing editors, who will continue to report to the business leaders of dayside and digital. In addition to the managing editors, The Bridge will bring together in one place representatives of these teams: video, social and community, booking, planning, and visual assets. Three senior editors will help bring The Bridge’s news-list to reality through written and video story telling.

Under The Bridge, we will:

-combine digital writers with TV producers to create a larger, multi-skilled reporting team to bring original reporting and breaking news to all platforms
-extend our use of social media tools for editorial discovery, news coverage and on-air integrations
-coordinate our TV and digital video teams to create more original video, engage in smarter editing, and bring all video to our users and viewers faster
-build our first ever team dedicated to video research to source compelling video on air and online
-create more original graphics, powerful photo experiences and innovative interactive content that can travel between platforms
centralize our bookings to bring in fresh experts and more on-the-ground reporters

Our goal is to be one team. And to live and breathe a story-first attitude that allows us to collaborate much more inside msnbc, and with all our partners across the NBC News Group.

These changes will require us all to adapt the way we work and learn some new tools and skills. We will need to be more flexible and open to working across teams than we currently are today.

But we have an incredible track record of evolving to succeed at msnbc. Time and again, we have moved faster and further than anyone else in the business.

MSNBC was created 18 years ago based on the idea of integrating television and digital. This is the next logical stage in our evolution – a Bridge that connects us all together.