Is Jen Psaki the Next Rachel Maddow?

Jen Psaki
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty
Dylan Byers
February 23, 2022

Earlier this month, while the cable news industry was consumed by the ongoing and seemingly never-ending Jeff ZuckerAllison Gollust-Chris Cuomo imbroglio, and as WarnerMedia C.E.O. Jason Kilar was flaccidly trying to calm the nerves of a restless newsroom staff, CNN interim co-president Amy Entelis and CNN+ programming lead Rebecca Kutler were in Washington for a top-secret and mission-critical recruitment assignment. The chaos embroiling their brand had not deterred their efforts to court a new potential on-air talent who, in their eyes, had the potential to become a marquee star both in the CNN lineup and its nascent streaming service. 

They weren’t the only ones to hatch this novel idea. Less than one week later, NBC News Chairman Cesar Conde and MSNBC President Rashida Jones made a similar pilgrimage to Washington to meet with the very same talent, in the hopes that she might one day join their networks in a flagship role, and perhaps even take the top spot in primetime on MSNBC. CNN may be reeling from the Zucker mess, but MSNBC is imperiled in its own way, as Rachel Maddow prepares to exit her nightly show, prompting a presumed top-down re-think of primetime.