Chelsea Clinton began work at NBC News on Monday, the second daughter of a former president at the network. NBC said it had hired the 31-year-old Clinton to work on projects for “NBC Nightly News” and Brian Williams’ newsmagazine, “Rock Center.” She will report stories for the feel-good “Making a Difference” series.
The only child of former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is pursuing a doctorate at Oxford and working for the Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative.
Former President George W. Bush’s daughter Jenna Bush Hager does stories for the “Today” show.
NBC said Chelsea Clinton wasn’t available for an interview, but issued a statement: “People who imagine and implement solutions to challenges in their own lives, in their communities, in our country and in our world have always inspired me.”
Recent “Making a Difference” stories highlighted a 7-year-old boy raising money for a friend with cancer by racing go-karts, a marathon runner raising money for his mother who suffers from Parkinson’s disease and rock star Bon Jovi opening a restaurant where people who cannot pay for meals can do volunteer work to earn food.
Besides Clinton and Hager, NBC News also has just hired Meghan McCain, author of “Dirty Sexy Politics” and daughter of 2008 GOP presidential candidate John McCain. She will be an analyst for MSNBC.
NBC News President Steve Capus was not available for an interview, the network said Monday. He told The New York Times that he was approached this summer through an intermediary about Chelsea Clinton and asked her in for a meeting.
“Given her vast experiences, it’s as though Chelsea has been preparing for this opportunity her entire adult life,” Capus said in a statement Monday.
Star power can be attractive to a news network, although it has pitfalls. ABC News was criticized a decade ago for airing an interview with President Clinton conducted by actor Leonardo DiCaprio. NBC notes that Chelsea Clinton will be reporting features, not breaking news, for the network.
The hiring also raises the question of whether that may give NBC News an edge in getting future stories involving her parents, or at least the appearance of one. Jenna Bush Hager’s father gave his first post-presidency interview to NBC’s Matt Lauer.
NBC is owned by NBC Universal.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.