Chuck Todd, NBC’s chief White House correspondent, says the network’s controversial decision to air a miniseries about Hillary Clinton is just the latest issue in a tense relationship between both NBC News and NBC Entertainment.
Earlier this week, Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus said the party would prevent NBC, along with CNN, from holding GOP debates if they go forward with films featuring Clinton as she gears up for a potential 2016 presidential run. Todd lamented that viewers wouldn’t understand the distinction between NBC Entertainment, which would produce the series, and NBC News, with which he’s affiliated.
“This is why this miniseries is a total nightmare for NBC News,” he said. “No matter what, only we are going to own it because people are going to see the [NBC logo of the] peacock, and they see NBC and they see NBC News, and they think, ‘Well, they can’t be that separate.’”
“The two entities are sometimes are war with each other,” Todd said on Morning Joe today. “The relationship is bad, it’s never great — it’s either okay, or really bad,” pointing to the tension between covering live news and entertainment programming as one issue.
He complained that the corporate firewall between the two divisions actually means the news division can’t comment fairly on whatever NBC Entertainment ends up producing, saying, “we know that we’d probably love to be as critical or whatever it’s going to be when it comes out.”
At one point, Todd couldn’t resist slipping in a dig at NBC’s struggling entertainment programming, which finished fourth among major networks in primetime viewership: “Hey, please, NBC Entertainment: Can you please make some money?”