Phil Griffin named president of MSNBC

Will run day-to-day operations of news channel

NEW YORK -- NBC News said Wednesday that it had promoted Phil Griffin to president of MSNBC, a move designed to let Griffin focus full-time on the news channel.

Griffin, who was a senior vp of NBC News in charge of both MSNBC and "Today," will be in charge of the day-to-day operations of the news channel that has made waves on and off the air in recent months. Griffin will now drop his oversight responsibilities for "Today," with an announcement over who will take over exec duties at the morning show to come in the near future.

He'll continue to report to NBC News President Steve Capus. Griffin will also be responsible for network specials, and executive producer of NBC News specials Phil Alongi will report to Griffin.

"As MSNBC is poised to reach new levels, it's time for him to be able to direct his full-time attention to one of the most important assets we have at NBC News," Capus said.

It's been quite a year for MSNBC, which has seen its primetime ratings jump 54% on the strength of shows like "Countdown with Keith Olbermann." Griffin's influence has been seen in results in front of and behind the camera.

A 25-year veteran of NBC News who has been with the channel since July 1996, Griffin was named senior vp in April 2005. Previously, he was vp of primetime programming at MSNBC as well as producing "Hardball with Chris Matthews" from 1999 to 2004. He has also been a senior broadcast producer for "NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw," and in 1995 led NBC News' coverage of the O.J. Simpson trial. He also worked for "Today" and began his career at CNN in 1980.