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Janelle Rodriguez: Delivering News of the World to a Wide Audience


October 24, 2023

As NBC News’ Executive Vice President of Programming, Janelle Rodriguez oversees NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, the network’s 24/7 streaming news network NBC News NOW and breaking news special coverage. Prior to joining NBC News, Janelle served as Vice President of Programming at CNN. Along with receiving numerous Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award, Janelle was named to the 2023 Out100 list2023 CableFax Diversity List and the 2022 Fast Company Queer 50 list.

Learn more about Janelle in our interview below.

Q. You’ve been a part of NBC News since 2015, what drew you to this work?

“After 15 years of working in cable news at CNN, there was only one other place I would work – and that was NBC. NBC is simply the very best in the news industry, with a broadcast and cable outlet, as well as a strong digital operation. Working somewhere that is both innovative and iconic at the same time wasn’t an opportunity I could pass up.”

Q. Under your leadership, NBC News NOW has become the fastest growing streaming news network in the U.S, what has been the “secret sauce” to this growth?

“The ‘secret sauce’ starts with working at a company that is willing to take risks to innovate. That’s where it all begins. I’m lucky enough to work for a boss, Cesar Conde, Chairman of the NBCUniversal New Group, who understood this right away. He made a significant investment in NBC News NOW, understanding our mission of making news accessible.

“The unmatched breadth of NBCUniversal News Group’s resources sets NBC News NOW apart. We’re providing 11 live original hours of pure hard news to consumers daily, as well as NBC Nightly News, Meet the Press and Dateline. We’re offering the best of NBC News for free on dozens of platforms. Turn on News NOW, and you’ll find Tom Llamas anchoring Top Story on the ground from the latest breaking news story, you’ll get international reporting from Richard Engel to the state of the 2024 presidential race from Kristen Welker, to all of the consumer, tech and health stories you need to know.

“And finally, I work with a team of producers, reporters and anchors who are incredible at their jobs, so it is a true collaborative team effort to reach this milestone in just a few years.”

Q. How has DE&I shown up in your career, and how do you bring it to your role as a leader?

“As a news organization that delivers news of the world to a wide audience, it’s imperative to have a diverse newsroom representative of its audience – diverse in the truest sense of the word, by gender, race, geography, socio-economic background and perspective. A diverse newsroom informs our ability to see and understand the stories our readers and viewers rely on us for.

“When we launched NBC News NOW, it was a chance to build something from the ground up that prioritized diversity in front of and behind the camera, from the beginning. We have diverse anchor representation across every hour of programming on NBC News NOW, something we’re very proud of. And not just in who you see delivering the news, but in the stories we cover.”

Q. What advice would you give your younger self?

“It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”