Big Changes At MSNBC?

Mediaite’s Joe Concha scoops about big changes supposedly being announced Thursday for MSNBC…

A well-placed source tells me MSNBC will announce today major changes to its afternoon lineup…arguably the most significant revamp the network has made at one time in its 19-year history.

Nope. That would go to when MSNBC overhauled its dayside in 2002 replacing its news wheel with a post-Imus morning show featuring Rick Sanchez, Alex Witt, and John Elliot followed by Curtis and Kuby for two hours and then Buchannan and Press for two hours. That was 6 consecutive hours of TV programming overhauled (it may have been 7 consecutive hours but I forget if the morning show with Sanchez et al. ran 2 or 3 hours). It didn’t last very long and the news wheel returned (it was the end for Curtis and Kuby but Buchanan and Press lasted a bit longer if memory serves)…but without Gregg Jarrett who essentially was put in a Secaucus cryo-freeze until his contract ran out and he went to FNC.

That doesn’t mean what’s about to be announced is insignificant. It’s still major. Concha goes on to say that The Cycle, Now with Alex Wagner, and The Ed Show are to be cancelled and in their place will be two hours of news, which Concha logically posits would be Brian Williams’ followed by the return of Chuck Todd at 5pm ET.

If this holds, the first question will be how did Al Sharpton survive being cancelled?

26 Responses to “Big Changes At MSNBC?”

  1. Why would Chuck Todd return? He would only be able to do 4 days as it is. Also surprised Sharpton would stick around, that should be gone yesterday.

  2. Todd could do 5 a week AND MTP and I would expect he would. May not last long term though.

  3. savefarris Says:

    “Consider the Deck Chairs re-arranged, Captain!”

    This could actually cause more problems than it solves, because Chuck will now have the MSNBC stink back on him which will his diminish his credibility on Sunday mornings.

  4. IMO, if what Concha says is correct, this is a good news story for the network.

    The big news is the return of Chuck Todd. If he goes back to the TDR format then it will be must watch TV for me. He does his best on MTP but, IMO, the format is totally wrong for his many talents and I just can’t bare to watch that show much anymore. I expect he will be there though the current election cycle at least.

    I never watch Ed Schultz and rarely watch ‘The Cycle’ or Wagner so their loss is no big deal to my viewing habits. I won’t be watching another two hour ‘straight news’ show either – especially if the host is Brian Williams – so it’s a wash for me.

    It will be interesting to see where the departing hosts end up.
    My guesses:
    Ari Melber: legal and political reporter and pundit for the network and fill in host for various shows.
    Crystal Ball: political and women’s issues pundit.
    Toure’: gone and soon forgotten.
    Abby Huntsman: political pundit (for now) and maybe more as she has a lot of talent.
    Alex Wagner: political pundit, fill in host and maybe reporter (much like Joy Reid has become).
    Ed Schultz: gone to radio with maybe the occasional appearance on certain subjects.

    If Williams doesn’t get the new show there are a lot of competent hosts in the MSNBC stable that could do it. For example, Craig Melvin guest hosts well when asked.

    “the first question will be how did Al Sharpton survive being cancelled?”

    ^^You’re forgetting the deal he has with Comcast that we discussed here a few months ago. Sharpton’s survival is based on him keeping his mouth shut about that deal.

  5. Todd seemed to really love doing the TDR so I can’t say I’m shocked he’s returning to do a daily program. But, I just don’t think a closer association with MSNBC helps his brand when it comes to MTP.

    Regarding Sharpton: well, it’s Al Sharpton we’re talking about. It’s not worth the headache to fire him. May as well give him an hour day to mangle the English vocabulary, lead protests against whitey and do whatever else he does.

  6. Spud’s right, 2002 was a huge shakeup for MSNBC in daytime but it also didn’t last very long. Just about every daytime show ended up cancelled within a year. Curtis & Kuby only lasted a few months. Buchanan & Press got shelved before the war and then resurrected in primetime and cancelled IIRC.

    2003 was a bigger shakeup though, first with Joe Scarborough picking up MSNBC Reports then Keith Olbermann anchoring primetime news coverage of the Iraq war. They moved Matthews from 9pm to 7pm and, when the war was over, they had a primetime lineup that held for years with the exception of 9pm which is, ironically, now the only show timeslot that’s holding constant.

    Abby Huntsman: political pundit (for now) and maybe more as she has a lot of talent.

    I would be shocked if she doesn’t end up with something more when all this is said and done … whether it’s 6pm or a larger profile at NBC News.

    The other three on The Cycle hold Abby down honestly. The other three just don’t have the “it factor” Abby has and it’s honestly frustrating to watch Abby Huntsman handle breaking news coverage as well as it can be handled for eight minutes and then Touré come in and the whole thing dissolves.

  7. If this holds, the first question will be how did Al Sharpton survive being cancelled?

    Concha says that 6pm and 8pm are next.

    Al Sharpton is Chris Hayes’ best friend. Everyone is so focused on his race-baiting, conflict of interests and how he sinks the network’s credibility that they keep looking right past the fact that primetime ratings didn’t plummet until Chris Hayes went to 8pm.

    Regardless, I’ll be overjoyed when they finally cancel All In. They’ve needed to for two years. Hopefully PoliticsNation becomes a primetime thing.

    Concha’s article also states that familiar faces are returning to primetime. I guess that means Keith Olbermann and Brian WIlliams?

  8. Wait…what? You want Al Sharpton in primetime?

  9. Wait…what? You want Al Sharpton in primetime?

    Crap, I misspoke. Meant to say “weekend thing” so the show will die a quick death.

  10. Another thing MSNBC has overlooked is Tamron Hall’s show.

    Melissa Harris-Perry’s show sucks because it’s a two hour sociology lecture … one that pertains exclusively to issues that only affect about 13 percent of the United States population.

    Tamron Hall’s show has evolved into a not quite as boring, weekday version of MHP.

  11. Ha. I thought so. It didn’t quite fit with the rest of your narrative.

  12. Agh…12 comments in and nobody has called anyone a racistmoneygrubbingantiimmigrantislamaphoberadicalleftisttreehuggingantibusinestcommiepinkobastard … I think I’m having a coronary…

  13. “And then there’s this from Brian Stelter: http://money.cnn.com/2015/07/23/media/msnbc-chuck-todd-brian-williams/index.html

    ^^One line caught my attention in Stelter’s article.

    “Several political talk shows are likely to be shelved. Former anchor Chuck Todd is expected back for a weekday news hour.”

    ^^I doubt Todd is returning to cover the latest police shooting or plane crash news stories. His show is almost certainly to be almost all political analysis of the upcoming election cycle. At least I hope so.

  14. Are you TRYING to jinx this thread, Spud?

  15. Are you TRYING to jinx this thread, Spud?

    Racist!!! :-p

  16. ^^I doubt Todd is returning to cover the latest police shooting or plane crash news stories. His show is almost certainly to be almost all political analysis of the upcoming election cycle. At least I hope so.

    I enjoyed Chuck Todd at 9am, much more than I enjoyed Morning Joe actually. The Daily Rundown was practically required viewing in DC.

    On that note, whoever designed the graphics and whoever puts the music together for José Diaz-Balart, ugh. Too “noisy”.

  17. Yes it will be all politics. You won’t see him covering the latest Cosby news…unless Cosby testifies before Congress that is…

  18. I do hope MSNBC does a good job at this hard news thing , I do miss watching them for news , didn’t want op-ed daytime shows. I wonder would they move Alex Witt to weekdays?

  19. I’d imagine Huntsman will have an expanded role at morning joe as they test her out in the Today Show farm system.

    I assumed Hayes would be moved into Docs, taking on a Soledad O’Brien role. Maybe they give Wagner the first crack at it now. She was good on the original NOW, the roundtable show at noon. Once they tried to focus on her views it fell apart. She also used the same cliche’s all the time. (“there’s no there there” anyone?)

    Chuck at 5, meh. Id rather he go back to 9, and move JDB to the afternoon. There he can fill the void in our hearts that Rick Sanchez left oh so many years ago. The mornings are best suited for those Today Show pipeline types anyway.

  20. “whoever designed the graphics and whoever puts the music together for José Diaz-Balart, ugh. Too “noisy”.

    ^^Just JD-B.

  21. ^^Just JD-B.

    Should read > ^^Just like J-DB. Sorry.

  22. I’d imagine Huntsman will have an expanded role at morning joe as they test her out in the Today Show farm system.

    She’s going to come away a winner in this whole thing. There’s no way MSNBC lets her walk over to CNN, especially after letting Norah O’Donnell walk to CBS News.

    I do hope MSNBC does a good job at this hard news thing , I do miss watching them for news , didn’t want op-ed daytime shows. I wonder would they move Alex Witt to weekdays?

    I have a feeling MSNBC daytime and even parts of primetime is going to look like CBSN when it’s all said and done. Which is ironic, since CBSN looks like the old MSNBC (complete with Contessa Brewer).

    If Williams and Olbermann end up on primetime, it’ll be even more so.

  23. Maxine Whiting Says:

    It is my prayer that MSNBC does not become another Fox News station. Why anyone describes the news at FOX as truth or research is beyond me. It is biased, partisan, and often made up.

    That leads me to Al Sharpton who also gives a point of view. However, he gives the “other side,” the side of those who are not represented by the main stream media. Were it not for Al Sharpton, much of what if reported as absolute truth would never be questioned or researched. He servers as the “superego” for the rest of media.

    Make another liberal to conservative change and I’m lo longer a MSNBC viewer.

  24. People seem to think Abby Huntsman is talented. She is good looking, but what are her talents?

  25. you have been going to conservative, get rid of joe scarborough is is a arrogant man should not have a show with letting ed go you have lost a fewer, he was honest and trustworthy like keith olberman you turn into a crummy show, i used to love you shows now the are leaning so much to the right,that i can watch fox , nbc and mnscb was always my first programming no longer you suck, martin bashir got canned for what fox does everyday, rachel looks like you put a damper on her, sorry you stink now

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