In an attempt at addressing some of their concerns, NBC News president Noah Oppenheim reportedly held an impromptu phone call with "vexed" Washington bureau employees on Friday, some of which have complained that "the tentative hiring tarnishes the NBC News brand," CNN writes.
In the call, Oppenheim reportedly made the case that NBC News did not have a role in hiring Psaki, nor should journalists feel hires made for MSNBC's opinion arm are related to their work.
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"Here's what he was saying: They have perspective programming. This was done on the perspective programming side. Not anything that reflects on NBC News," one of the individuals on the call with Oppenheim explained to CNN, who also held discussions with Psaki.
NBC News journalists should just do their jobs as usual, Oppenheim reportedly added.
Psaki is said to be leaving the White House around May for a hosting gig on NBCUniversal's streaming platform, though the deal is not yet final. She'd also be appearing on various MSNBC shows.
The frustartion around Psaki's hiring also threatens to widen an already-present rift between NBC News and MSNBC, CNN notes.
"This has been a slow boil for a while," one staffer said. NBC News journalists have also "watched closely" as MSNBC's prioritized commentary and perspective shows over hard news reporting since MSNBC President Rashida Jones took control a little over a year ago, CNN writes.
"Rashida is unapologetic with what she's doing with MSNBC," one network employee told CNN. "She has been clear about the network's direction."
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