Small comms team produces a sizable impact for MSNBC

MSNBC was busy in 2011, launching five shows and a blog.

Company: MSNBC
Team size: Five
What's new: Maximizes small team of pros to promote established programs and new offerings

MSNBC was busy in 2011, launching five shows and a blog. VP of communications Jeremy Gaines, who handles all PR requests for president Phil Griffin and oversees overall messaging strategy, has headed the team for nine-plus years.

The three PR pros divide up the cable channel's programming by time period. Lauren Skowronski, media relations director, handles communications for early morning programs including Morning Joe and prime-time programs such as The Rachel Maddow Show. Media relations director Tanya Hayre is responsible for communications for daytime and prime-time programs including Hardball with Chris Matthews. Press manager Weesie Vieira leads communications for daytime programming and the new weekend lineup. She also works as the team's digital and social media point person, heading up the blog Press coordinator Madeline Peters, the most recent hire, provides support for the team.

The team also coordinates major events for MSNBC, including book-launch parties and the White House Correspondents' Dinner after-party.

"We have a smaller team, but have taken full advantage of our ratings success," says Gaines. "Our brand is our on-air talent. We try hard to get them the attention they deserve, using all the tools at our disposal, especially new media."

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