(NATIONAL REVIEW) — The New York Times Sunday Styles section published a piece last month depicting MSNBC host Ronan Farrow, the celebrity son of Mia Farrow and either Woody Allen or Frank Sinatra, being embraced by Manhattan’s moneyed, aging A-list. Another profile, this one in the New York Times Magazine, described the new host as a “reluctant” television star. Whether the irony was intended is unclear, but the piece quotes MSNBC president Phil Griffin recounting his first meeting with Farrow: “Within 20 minutes I wanted to hire him,” Griffin said. “He’s got it.”
Griffin rewarded Farrow with a contract rumored to be in the low millions.
Farrow was mentored since his mid-teens by the late diplomat Richard Holbrooke. After Holbrooke’s sudden death Farrow was appointed to a murky role as “special adviser” to Hillary Clinton during her tenure at the State Department. He certainly knows how to charm sexagenarian elites, but young people don’t seem to like him much. The New York Times has aptly labeled him “the youngest old guy in the room.” Griffin had hoped the 26-year-old would help draw younger viewers to MSNBC, but after his first week on the air, Farrow’s ratings in the 18–49 demographic fell far below those from the comparable week a year ago, when Andrea Mitchell Reports was running in the same time slot.
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