Former MSNBC host Tiffany Cross knew she was going to be fired days before her exit — and threatened to “go out on fire” and “eliminate” the cable TV network and its president Rashida Jones, The Post has learned.
Controversial anchor – who was the weekend show ‘The Cross Connection’ It was abruptly canceled earlier this month as MSNBC chose not to renew its contractAccording to sources – He began frantically contacting other journalists, media executives and social activists a week before her ouster in an effort to drum up support, a source familiar with the matter said.
A source close to the situation said, “She made calls saying, ‘I’m going in a fire and removing the net and chasing Rashida.’”
Sources told The Washington Post that MSNBC executives and Jones, the network’s president, only became aware of the phone calls after Cross was let go. It’s unclear how Cross learned of her impending dismissal, but insiders speculated that her agent got the news while trying to negotiate a new contract for his client.
Neither Cross nor her agent, Henry Reich of WME, responded to requests for comment. Her attorney, Brian Friedman, also did not return calls or emails for comment.
MSNBC declined to comment.
Insiders say Cross was shut out in part because of her habit of making “vulgar” comments and “calling names” on air, but The Post has learned that she has also been criticized for making up to $100,000 in five-star hotel accommodation expenses.
Sources said that during her two-year stint at MSNBC, the host took trips to Los Angeles and the Super Bowl, describing them as business trips. The Cross’ Oscars ride, which took place at Beverly Wilshire on Rodeo Drive for an “extended stay,” raised eyebrows, according to one source.
“She’s staying at a hotel where the NBC execs don’t stay,” the source said of the hotel-owned Four Seasons Hotel, which charges more than $1,000 a night for a basic room during high season.
“She was mistaken for a TV news job for being a celebrity,” the source added. “She was making north of $200,000 and acted like she made $5 million.”
Elsewhere, Cross teased her colleagues for demanding more office space despite the fact that she was only on the air once a week, the insider added. Management was unresponsive in part because its bid was in last place — despite publicly insisting its numbers were strong, according to sources close to the situation.
In her statement upon her exit, Cross claimed that her show had “more than 4.6 million viewers per month” and that it was “MSNBC’s top weekend show”.
according to Nielsen, “The Cross Connection” has never come close to that number, drawing between 704,000 and 465,000 a week since June. For the year, Cross averaged 548,000 viewers.
Last month, the show averaged just 605,000 viewers, trailing behind CNN’s “Newsroom,” which had 696,000 viewers, and Fox News’ “Cavuto Live,” which scored nearly 1.4 million viewers. The ratings also show that “MSNBC Live with Alex Witt” is the best weekend show on the network.
“You have to win the room to put up with bad reviews,” said a source close to MSNBC.
Cross was one of Jones’ first key employees, and aimed to attract black viewers to the network. A former Washington bureau chief for BET, Cross served as a guest political analyst at MSNBC before eventually taking up the anchor chair in 2020.
Sources said that doubts have increased recently about the renewal of Kroos’ contract. However, her sudden dismissal days before the midterm elections surprised some insiders, who predicted she would at least terminate the contract, which was due to expire on December 31.
Criticized by Cross’s outspoken fans’ delivery, he, like her, told MSNBC on social media to cancel The Cross Connection, which airs Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon. In a statement posted to her Instagram, Cross portrayed her ouster as “backlash” for her unapologetic stances on gender, race, and politics.
But inside MSNBC, executives were frustrated with Cross’s habit of attacking news hosts at other cable networks. Cross has been in public feuds with the likes of Tucker Carlson and Sirius XM’s from Fox News Megyn Kelly, whom I called A “blackface expert”, as well as Bill Maher, who she calls The white old man was furious.
Elsewhere, CNN’s Cross Van Jones, ESPN anchor Sage Steele, and former MSNBC anchor Carlos Watson described them as Black journalists who are “not necessarily black voices”.
Cross said, “I see my colleagues lightening themselves up, softening their points, doing everything they can to make white people comfortable because they somehow think it’s going to win them some trophies.” After viewing the video With political commentators Jason Johnson and Roland Martin posted on her Instagram, without naming names.
A source close to the situation said that the network’s “standards team” and Jones sat down with Cross several times during her tenure, warning her to refrain from “calling names” and using “foul” and “vulgar” language. The source added that their problem was never a cross message, but its delivery.
Her death was quickly tracked after her Oct 15 Commentary on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, which she called “Justice Pubic Hair on My Coke Can.” A source said that a clip on the air gave the anchor her final warning, and it is possible that after that she learned of her fate.
On November 3, Cross appeared Comedy Central’s “Hell of a Week with Charlamagne.” Making the comments angered MSNBC executives, an insider told The Washington Post. The show’s host, Charlemagne Tha Good, asked his round table guests for a statement that the Democrats could lose in the midterm elections.
Cross replied, “Florida literally looks like the Democratic Republic of the Congo, so let’s get rid of Florida.” “Let’s castrate Florida.”
Sources close to the situation said Cross was informed the next day that she had been discharged.
across ch It ignited a firestorm of more than 40 black leaders across politics and the media — including NAACP President and CEO Derek Johnson, who, according to sources, was among the calls Cross made, along with her friend, political commentator Angela Ray.
Johnson did not respond to requests for comment. Rye did not hang.
In the letter, also signed by Color of Change president Rashad Robinson and former ESPN personality Jemele Hill, Cross supporters blasted MSNBC for deciding not to renew her contract a few weeks after Carlson told Fox News. Criticize her comments on race They accused her of “genocidal talk”.
“MSNBC is not allowed to not renew contracts?” A source close to MSNBC responded, adding that the idea of Cross being fired related to Carlson is “absolutely ridiculous. It’s a complete hoax.”
“If MSNBC was going to fire everyone who went after Tucker Carlson, there would be no one left on TV,” the source said. “Being attacked by Tucker Carlson is a badge of honor.”