Thursday, August 26, 2021

Rachel Maddow Is Worth $30M to NBC Universal

Last weekend, news leaked that the iconic liberal TV host Rachel Maddow decided to sign a new contract with MSNBC after The Daily Beast first reported that she was considering leaving the nightly show she’s helmed for 13 years to start her own venture.

That deal will give Maddow, the highest-rated host on MSNBC, a jaw-dropping $30 million per year to keep her with the company through the 2024 election, according to four people familiar with the matter.

As part of the deal, Maddow’s long-running 9 p.m. nightly broadcast will end next year. Instead, after stepping back from The Rachel Maddow Show, she will host a weekly program set to air roughly 30 weeks out of the year.

The Daily Beast has learned that NBCUniversal News Corp., the parent company of left-leaning cable news network MSNBC, made some other massive concessions in a deal that will ultimately mean less Maddow airtime overall. The deal, insiders told The Daily Beast, effectively buys the network more time to figure out an eventual replacement for the multi-faceted role Maddow plays at MSNBC.

It was a “dealbreaker” for Maddow to have a schedule allowing more time for family, according to three people involved with the deal. And so, under the terms of the agreement, the nightly show will cease to air in its current form around spring of 2022, according to people briefed on the situation.

Negotiated by powerful talent agency Endeavor and its CEO Ari Emanuel and ​​president Mark Shapiro, the deal will reunite Maddow with her former boss Phil Griffin, who people familiar with the situation said is poised to run her new production company.

The TV star’s new contract will give her a wide range of opportunities across NBCUniversal's news and entertainment divisions as she looks to develop podcasts, documentaries, and other types of multimedia projects.

Ultimately, NBCU didn’t have many other options, according to The Daily Beast. Over the past several years, Maddow has become a ratings juggernaut, pulling in millions of viewers each night and occasionally beating all of her competitors, including the normally ratings-dominant hosts at Fox News.

But her ratings success hasn’t trickled down much to other primetime hosts on the network, leaving no obvious successor for her show if and when she decided to vacate the gig.

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