MSNBC Communications Chief Rachel Racusen to Return to White House

Rachel Racusen, who joined MSNBC in December as its new vice president of communications, is returning to the place from which she came — the White House.

Racusen, who had been an associate communications director at the White House before joining the NBCUniversal cable-news outlet, will rejoin the Obama administration as a strategic communications adviser, she confirmed Friday.

“I’ve been lucky to get to work with the great team at MSNBC,” Racusen said in a statement provided by email. “Unexpectedly, the White House reached out with an exciting opportunity to help spearhead long-term communications priorities during their ‘fourth quarter,’ and it will be an honor to return to work for the President and his administration in this new capacity.”

Racusen leaves as MSNBC is in the midst of a transformation, maintaining its progressive lens on the news while at the same time attempting to draw a broader audience to its programming. The network’s ratings have fallen as CNN has grown more competitive in the last two years and MSNBC president Phil Griffin has reworked the network’s daytime schedule to make it more responsive to breaking news. The network has added new talent through its Shift streaming-video portal while enlisting noted chef and food advocate Tom Colicchio to cover news of nutrition and eating.

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