Phil Griffin Interview
The Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove interviews Phil Griffin…
On Thursday Griffin was at pains to deny widespread speculation that MSNBC management, concerned that Schultz’s audience was aging beyond the ideal, most lucrative demographic for advertisers, was eager to relieve him of his primetime berth as his contract came up for renewal.
“This began with Ed coming to me,” Griffin insisted. “And I will tell you that Ed has an incredible following in the network … Ed and I were talking about his contract, and Ed is a very sharp guy. He said he wanted to be here long term … He wanted to spend more time in Minnesota. I said, ‘Well, Ed, I am extending the weekend. I need someone for 5 to 7. It’s critical. It’s going to be as important as 8 to 10 [on weeknights].’ And he came back to me and said, ‘I want to do that long term.’ ”
Griffin declined to comment on whether the health concerns of Schultz’s wife, Wendy—who is being treated, apparently successfully, for ovarian cancer—played a role in Schultz’s thinking.