Saturday, April 13, 2024

MSNBC Bucks Nepo Baby Criticism, Hires Luke Russert to Be Host, Creative Director of New Series


You have to give MSNBC’s Rashida Jones credit. The news director of the popular cable network won’t be turned off by accusations of ‘nepo baby.’

Jones has hired the late Tim Russert’s son, Luke, to oversee a new event series on the network. “MSNBC Live,” will be an event series launching in 2024, featuring high-profile interviews, expert forums and panels on a local and national scale.

Russert’s experience is being the son of Tim Russert and Vanity Fair writer Maureen Orth.

NY Magazine coined the term ‘nepo baby’ earlier this year. It references children of famous people who get breaks despite having little or no experience. Nepo Baby immediately became a catch phrase in the lexicon.

A little background: When Tim Russert, the beloved NBC journalist, died suddenly, son Luke got work on the network immediately because he was his son. Then he left, wrote a book, and went on a book tour. The book was not a complex investigation into a newsworthy subject, but a memoir about losing his dad and “finding” himself. The MSNBC press release doesn’t even say this — they don’t even supply a biography of Luke, which is really weird. They don’t need to, apparently.

So congrats to Luke Russert! He really worked his way up the ladder. And bravo to Rashida Jones for taking the brave path and not appointing someone with a long resume. It’s a daring, bold move.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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