Four out of the seven news organizations holding coveted seats in the front row of the White House briefing room are reportedly in active talks to hire Press Secretary Jen Psaki, who faced criticism from the press corps on Monday for letting those at the front of the room dominate her briefings.
Psaki is reportedly being “feverishly courted” by executives at CNN and NBC News who want to make the press secretary their newest primetime host, according to Puck News, which reports that ABC News and CBS News have also expressed interest in Psaki. Psaki has reportedly sat down for lunches with news executives along with her agent Jay Sures, who heads United Talent Agency and is actively representing Psaki as she looks to leave the White House.
The four outlets occupy a majority of the seats in the front row of the briefing room, joined by Fox News, Reuters, and the Associated Press. Psaki came under fire from several other outlets in the room, which accused her of letting the front row dictate the direction of each briefing. Outlets are “tired of listening to the front row basically interview Jen for 35 minutes,” one reporter told Politico.
The White House did not respond to an inquiry on whether the active employment discussions are impacting Psaki’s choices in the briefing room. The outlets have declined to comment on their recruitment of Psaki.
Psaki stated early on in her stint as press secretary that she only intended to hold the position for about a year, stressing her desire to spend more time with her family.
“I don’t want to miss moments. I don’t want to miss things, and I’m very mindful of that as well,” Psaki said last May. “It’s a great job. It will be hard, but I also never thought I’d be here, and I also love my kids a lot.”
It is unclear whether a primetime anchor gig would allow Psaki more time to spend with family, but it would certainly lead to a major pay increase.
As a White House employee, Psaki earns the maximum allowed $180,000 a year, according to White House records. The Puck News report on Psaki’s job search billed the press secretary as the “next Rachel Maddow,” who was just given a new contract from MSNBC worth $30 million a year, according to the Daily Beast.
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