Rachel Racusen to Head MSNBC PR…

White House Associate Communications Director Rachel Racusen has joined MSNBC and will be its VP of Communications.

Today MSNBC announced the hiring of Rachel Racusen as its new VP of communications.

Racusen, who will handle comms and media strategy while partnering with editorial and business leads at the network, will also serve as MSNBC’s primary spokesperson moving forward.

For those of you wondering if this was an accident or coincidence…it apparently wasn’t

We just heard from an anonymous source who applied for a top media relations job at the network. The source tells us that the planned rebranding played a large role in the interview process and that MSNBC demanded someone with close “White House connections” for the job.

I am very curious how someone with “White House connections” can make a difference in a PR position for a cable network. How will this play out? More outreach to progressive blogs? Bypassing traditional media outlets? What’s going to happen next?


7 Responses to “Rachel Racusen to Head MSNBC PR…”

  1. Her first job as PR person should have been a memo stating “For God’s sake don’t say you were looking for someone with White House connections!”

  2. Here’s my “shocked” face: 😯

  3. I vote for by-passing traditional media outlets. It is sooooooo much easier to manipulate the “stupid Americans” if you only start telling one story from a chosen perspective. It is like the Gruber deal. Start with giving a story to Ezra Klein, he prints it, others link to it, then the WH links to those stories to say “this is the truth”.

    It is incestuous in a liberal way.

  4. So it’s a lateral move…

  5. “I am very curious how someone with “White House connections” can make a difference in a PR position for a cable network.”

    ^^It’s a cable NEWS network and her expertise is in media strategy. It seems like a good fit to me. After all the political staffers moving to cable nets (including FNC) and the reverse is not all that rare. BTW: It’s an anonymous source who sounds like they probably applied for the same job. Just sayin’.

    “How will this play out?”

    ^^Looking at her CV My guess is she’ll do a good job.

    “More outreach to progressive blogs?

    ^^Probably. But that’s what happening already so it would be a surprise if outreach to progressive blogs declined.

    “Bypassing traditional media outlets?”

    ^^Maybe if that’s part of the MSNBC strategy now.

    What’s going to happen next?

    ^^The WH will hire someone to replace her. I expect a number of mid level staffers will be leaving the WH soon (some to work at cable news nets as pundits or staffers) – as always happens around this point in an administrations tenure.

    Ms.. Racusen will start work at MSNBC and as I said probably do a good job.

  6. “For God’s sake don’t say you were looking for someone with White House connections!”

    I’m not so sure about that. What’s the point of harvesting from a particular field if you’re not going to bother making some hay from it? At least in concept, seems like a smart move to me.

    Like FNC (and CNN to a much lesser extent), there’s often an overall theme to the topics that the various hosts cover. Whether or not there will actually be any insider information coming from the WH is secondary. Primary would be the perception that the themes being discussed and the way they’re being discussed are in alignment with administration policy considerations.

    Ms. Racusen’s hire brings the perception of a bit more reality to MSNBC programming, and it’s something FNC can’t do for at least two more years.

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