CNN Tried To Steal Rachel Maddow From MSNBC With A Monster Offer

CNN boss Jeff Zucker tried to hire Rachel Maddow away from MSNBC, which made Maddow’s current home offer her more money for less work.

Via AdWeek:

A report surfaced on Thursday saying that CNN’s Jeff Zucker recently offered MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow around $20 million a year to anchor the soon-to-launch CNN+ streaming service. The news was reported by Puck News’ Matt Beloni, citing a source.

CNN’s attempt to lure Maddow apparently caused NBCUniversal “to scramble to promise her more money and less work to stay put, which she did,” Beloni writes in his What I’m Hearing… newsletter

What If Rachel Maddow Went To CNN?

A Rachel Maddow move to CNN, even if it were to lead their new streaming service, would have been a landscape-altering event in cable news. CNN has spent years finishing behind Maddow in the cable news ratings, so getting her would have both given them a rating boon and taken away the top-rated host from their competition.

It is uncertain how MSNBC is going to fill the void left by Maddow when she cuts back her workload in 2022, but losing the face of the network to the competition would have been devastating.

MSNBC doesn’t have anyone else who has the kind of viewership that Maddow does and is capable of doing the same style of program. For all of the strengths of the other MSNBC hosts, none of them have the unique combination of talents that has led Rachel Maddow to success. Plus, if Maddow left MSNBC, Lawrence O’Donnell, who has been saying for years that he would like to go back to screenwriting and Hollywood, would probably move on as well.

In the end, Rachel Maddow, who wanted to cut back her workload, got what she wanted and got to stay home, and CNN is still fighting to get out of third place.