What is MSNBC up to?

Deadline New York’s David Lieberman writes that Cenk Uygur is officially off the 6pm beat at MSNBC…

“It’s unfortunate that Cenk has declined our offer to have him develop and host a program for another time slot,” MSNBC adds. The Turkish American radio talk show host plans to hold a teleconference with the press on Thursday where, the invitation says, he will “boldly discuss his departure from MSNBC.”

Setting aside for the moment the extremely atypical practice of scheduling a presser to discuss one’s departure from a news network – and boy could that prove interesting to listen in on (though it probably won’t be unless Uygur does something out of left field like announcing he’s going to join Olbermann at Current) – you have to ask yourself the following question: What is MSNBC up to with all these development deals?

According a recent New York Times article by Brian Stelter, MSNBC is supposed to be working on a show for Chirs Hayes. It’s going to do something with 6pm which may or may not include Al Sharpton. Now MSNBC reveals it was looking at doing a show with Uygur at a different time slot. But where is there room?

Primetime is locked up solid. Mornings are locked up solid. MSNBC has given no indication that it would entertain the notion of doing away with the duplicate Hardball hour. As far as we know Dylan Ratigan is going nowhere. So what’s left?

Dayside? MSNBC already offers the smallest amount of dayside news of the three big cable news channels. From 9am-5pm ET CNN offers 8 hours if you count The Situation Room. FNC offers 7 hours. MSNBC offers either 4 or 6 hours of straight news depending on whether you count Mitchell Reports and Daily Rundown as news shows or politics shows – I consider them more the latter than the former. Martin Bashir’s show…I don’t know how to classify it. It’s not a straight news show. It’s not a pure opinion show. It’s more of a news/newsmaker/opinion mix; its format has more in common with Ratigan’s show than the rest of dayside.

The only thing we can draw from this with any certainty is that MSNBC appears to be actively engaged in looking to put more opinion people on the air. The real question is where will they put them?

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15 Responses to “What is MSNBC up to?”

  1. It seems to me that Hayes is highly likely to take one of Hardball’s spots, as his show will likely be Washington-based, a rachel maddow show-style washington hour in fact. My bet would be on the earlier 5 pm hardball.

    In the coming days, we should hear something about Sharpton if he is indeed taking the 6 pm slot, if not, I would say he is just going to be interim. Also, Ezra Klein has been guest hosting for Bashir, so he could also be in line for a possible show.

    And of course, we’re still waiting for msnbc to brand Thomas Roberts and Contessa Brewer’s “msnbc live” hours. I can’t tell you how much I absolutely hate msnbc having all branded hours and two random hours of “msnbc live” with “the place for politics” in the show-title spot on the graphics when more than half of what those hours cover is not politics related.

    Finally, get rid of Martin Bashir. Sometimes some of his segments are interesting, but the style and pace of his show does not flow.

    My suggestion: return Jansing and Co. to two hours. Give Contessa Brewer a branded show at 12. Keep Andrea and Tamron where they are. Give Thomas Roberts the 3pm hour back. Keep Ratigan, whose show has improved greatly the last few months at 4pm. Put Hayes in at 5pm. Give the 6pm hour a remake — I’d prefer something different then the standard host with one on one or one on two chat msnbc has all day. Then the regular primetime lineup starts at 7 with a (hopefully) live Hardball.

    Whew…glad i got that out..

  2. MSNBC should do a newshour at 6pmet
    and have Chris Hayes at 5pmet
    LIve hardball at 7pm

  3. joeremi Says:

    I like Martin Bashir, and if they think Chris Hayes is better than Cenk, they’re nuts.

  4. Cenk never really guest hosted until Olby left. It was like they just threw him on the air before he established a relationship with the core MSNBC audience.

    Personally I think MSNBC would be better off giving both Jansing and Hall two-hour blocks, similar to Megyn Kelly on FNC. Use the extra anchors to establish some credible weekend news programming.

    MSNBC WILL NOT put on a “news” hour at 6 PM. MSNBC/CNBC used to do stuff like that but it doesn’t fit in with the branding anymore. Then again, either does Lockup so what do I know?

  5. missy5537 Says:

    So many, many reasons NOT to watch MSNBC. I haven’t watched in a while, but after looking at their lineup, see that I haven’t missed anything.

  6. terance Says:

    Missy, good thing ya still post on threads about ’em though.. Otherwise it’d be nothing but loony lefty’s, eh?

    Anyway, what about getting rid of Andrea Mitchell? Right. She’s just great and I’m the only one that thinks she needs to hit the bricks…

  7. joeremi Says:

    Fox sucks! How do I know? I read the channel guide! 😉

  8. mlong5000 Says:

    Joe doesn’t like FOX say it ain’t so Joe…next you’ll tell me you hate Palin.

  9. Andrea Mitchell isn’t bad when they allow her to play to her strengths: longer, in-studio interviews. See her interview with Rumsfeld, it was great. The problem she has is with the teleprompter and with satellite interviews.

  10. joeremi Says:

    You don’t understand the purpose of mock exclamations and smileys, do you..?

  11. ^Sarcasm is a terrible thing to waste.

  12. bushleaguer Says:

    Joe – agreed re: Uygur versus Chris Hayes. Hayes may have pulled higher ratings while filling in on the network (perhaps that is what they are basing their judgment on), but that was for Maddow (don’t remember if he ever filled in for Olberman). The Hayes Hour won’t be a show I’ll be tuning in for.

    I’ve got a feeling that Uygur got an offer from Current and rebuffed MSNBC’s offer for a new time slot (although to what time is a great question).

  13. lonestar77 Says:

    I haven’t seen enough of Chris Hayes to really comment but I can’t imagine he’d be any worse than Cenk. That guy is terrible. His presentation reminds me of a guy broadcasting from his basement on public access.

  14. joeremi Says:

    I didn’t like Cenk at first, but I got used to his “regular guy” persona. Replacing him with Sharpton really pisses me off. I’m keeping it on Special Report after The Five now.

  15. Lockup is their number one show and that bulids the boring weekend news channels’ schedules. Al Sharpton doesn’t work for TV i can’t call it a news program, Hayes would be a smart add but they should have a news program at 6pmet with an anchor then at 7pm have Hayes Matthews show doesn’t need to have 7pm repeat

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