May 6, 2022

Karine Jean-Pierre will become the new White House press secretary when Jen Psaki steps down at the end of next week. Jean-Pierre is currently a deputy press secretary and will take over after Psaki’s last day, announced to be May 13.

The big announcement — and history — was made Thursday. In a statement, President Joe Biden said, “Karine not only brings the experience, talent and integrity needed for this difficult job, but she will continue to lead the way in communicating about the work of the Biden-Harris Administration on behalf of the American people.”

He added, “Jen Psaki has set the standard for returning decency, respect and decorum to the White House Briefing Room.”

That’s for sure. Psaki has earned rave reviews for the job she has done. Chris Wallace, back when he was with Fox News, called Psaki “one of the best press secretaries ever.” Psaki will join MSNBC after leaving the White House.

CNN’s Kaitlan Collins wrote, “Last May, Jean-Pierre became the second Black woman in history to hold the daily press briefing. She has served on the White House’s senior communications team since Biden took office and before that was an adviser to his campaign and chief of staff to now-Vice President Kamala Harris. Jean-Pierre is familiar with her new role. She is often in the room when Psaki briefs reporters, has filled in for her for at the lectern and has also gaggled with reporters traveling with Biden on Air Force One. Recently, she replaced Psaki at the last minute for Biden’s four-day trip to Europe amid the Russian invasion after Psaki tested positive for COVID-19 the day before Biden was scheduled to leave.”

So now for the history part of this. In a Twitter thread Thursday, Psaki called Jean-Pierre a “remarkable woman.” Psaki added, “She will be the first Black woman and the first openly LGBTQ+ person to serve as the White House Press Secretary. Representation matters and she will give a voice to many, but also make many dream big about what is truly possible.”

Psaki also wrote, “She is passionate. She is smart and she has a moral core that makes her not just a great colleague, but an amazing Mom and human. Plus, she has a great sense of humor. … I can’t wait to see her shine as she brings her own style, brilliance and grace to the podium.”

CBS News’ Kathryn Watson writes, “Jean-Pierre, 44, was born in France and is the partner of CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux. They have a young daughter. She worked for the Biden and Obama campaigns, and has served as an NBC and MSNBC political analyst.”

Weekend links …

Other media tidbits …

  • Puck’s Dylan Byers reports that Chris Wallace’s show that was on CNN+ (“Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?”) is headed to HBO Max. Byers added, “Wallace will continue to do work for CNN, as well … the maneuver appears to be a graceful way to respect Wallace’s stature in the business, try something new, and presumably keep him warm for future high-profile interviews or debates or bipartisan political tentpoles, perhaps a harbinger of what’s to come.”
  • Speaking of CNN, new boss Chris Licht told staff in a town hall meeting that he wants to “try some things” in the 9 p.m. Eastern hour left vacant with the firing of Chris Cuomo. Licht added, “Let’s have some fun with it. Let’s just try some things. But my intention is to have a show ready to launch in the fall at 9 o’clock.” The New York Times’ Benjamin Mullin has the story
  • My Poynter colleague, Angela Fu, with “Lee Enterprises reports growth in digital revenue amid layoffs.”
  • The debut of “Symone” — MSNBC’s show hosted by Symone Sanders, a former senior adviser to Vice President Kamala Harris — debuts Saturday at 4 p.m. For her first show, Sanders will interview first lady Jill Biden.
  • Lara Logan used to be a correspondent for “60 Minutes.” Now she’s hanging out at Mar-A-Lago with Kyle Rittenhouse? Here’s the photo.
  • First part of a story by the Press Gazette’s Dominic Ponsford: “The Guardian has issued new social media guidelines warning that staff who engage in public slanging matches with each other on Twitter could face disciplinary action. It has also warned staff against airing opinions on social media, scooping The Guardian website and ‘strongly encouraged’ them to delete old posts. The new guidelines follow various high-profile spats involving Guardian writers, including Owen Jones who recently took to the platform to deny bullying a fellow staff member.”
  • Nathan Lump has been named editor-in-chief of National Geographic. The official announcement said, “Lump brings over 25 years of experience spanning such notable publications as Travel + Leisure, CondéNast Traveler, The New York Times, and most recently serving as vice president, global head of Editorial and Entertainment at Expedia Group.” Variety’s Todd Spangler has more.
  • RTDNA reports “More than 1 in 5 TV news directors say their journalists were attacked in 2021.”
  • Reminder: The Pulitzer Prizes will be announced on Monday. As always, Poynter will be on top of the announcement and reaction.

Have feedback or a tip? Email Poynter senior media writer Tom Jones at

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Tom Jones is Poynter’s senior media writer for He was previously part of the Tampa Bay Times family during three stints over some 30…
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