Phil Griffin Calls 2015 ‘Inspiring and Pivotal Year’ for MSNBC

By Brian Flood Comment

MSNBC president Phil Griffin sent an end-of-year note to his staff this week, thanking them for their hard work and calling 2015 an “inspiring and pivotal year” for the network. Griffin highlighted the additions of Brian WilliamsKate SnowThomas Roberts and the new focus on breaking news. The MSNBC boss also mentions Geography of Poverty and the Global Citizen Festival as highlights of the network’s digital side.

“We are surrounding every breaking news story like never before, both on TV and online, and are continuing to find ways to connect our outstanding journalism across all our platforms. We’re combining efforts with NBC News coverage and it’s been a huge benefit to our daytime coverage,” Griffin wrote.

Here is Griffin’s full note:

Team,

I want to thank you all for your hard work this past year. There’s no question it was challenging, but it was also an inspiring and pivotal year for MSNBC.

2015 brought many changes to MSNBC. We remade dayside, beginning with the addition of Brian Williams – who started making a positive difference for us immediately, including the Pope’s historic visit in September. We also welcomed Kate Snow and Thomas Roberts alongside of José Díaz-Balart, Tamron Hall and Andrea Mitchell. Together they form a smart, strong lineup.

We are surrounding every breaking news story like never before, both on TV and online, and are continuing to find ways to connect our outstanding journalism across all our platforms. We’re combining efforts with NBC News coverage and it’s been a huge benefit to our daytime coverage. Our new “beat leaders” – Steve Kornacki, Ari Melber, Olivia Sterns and Cal Perry – are off to a great start and exploring every angle and giving our viewers deeper and more relevant coverage.

In 2015, Morning Joe, Hardball, The Rachel Maddow Show and The Last Word all topped CNN for the sixth consecutive year. And I am delighted that Chris Hayes and the All In team brought home an Emmy in the Outstanding News Discussion and Analysis category for Fifty Year War: The Changing Face of Poverty in America.  We also celebrated the 10thanniversary of Your Business and Melissa Harris-Perry and Weekends with Alex Witt, which all shine for us on the weekends.

On the digital front, “Geography of Poverty” was an extremely successful series for MSNBC.com this year winning an EPPY Award for Best Photojournalism of a Website with 1 million unique monthly visitors and over.  We also streamed the Global Citizen Festival which was a fine example of a cross-platform collaboration.

We have a remarkable opportunity in 2016 – it’s good to be known as “The Place for Politics” when you’re heading into a fascinating and unpredictable election year. Joe and Mika continue to drive the conversation every day – Morning Joe has had over 100 presidential candidate interviews.  Andrea Mitchell continues to book news-making guests like no one else. Chris Matthews has brought his unique brand of insight and political wisdom to each debate this year. Rachel Maddow turned in an incredible performance when she hosted the “First in the South Democratic Candidate Forum” in November. And we’re thrilled to have Chuck Todd back on every day with a daily show that is quickly becoming must-see election year TV.  Longform also premiered “Citizen Trump with Chris Matthews” the first in a series of candidate profiles last week with great success and we look forward to some exciting developments on the digital front as we head into next year.

I expect that we’ll have a lot to celebrate in 2016 – including MSNBC’s twentieth anniversary.  They grow up so fast!

As always, I’m grateful for the work you do each day. I wish you and your family a happy and healthy New Year.  Get some rest – we have an exciting year ahead.

Phil

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