It’s Official…

Mediaite’s Josh Feldman has Phil Griffin’s internal memo (which seems to have found its way almost everywhere) detailing the cancellation of the three shows Joe Concha scooped about last week…

Team,

I’m writing to share a number of changes we’re making as we build a new daytime lineup with the best live, breaking news coverage on television.

As of this Friday, “The Cycle,” “Now with Alex Wagner” and “The Ed Show” will air their final shows.

Alex Wagner will stay with MSNBC and play a key role in our political coverage as we head into the 2016 election. And Ari Melber will continue in his role as Chief Legal Correspondent. But we will be parting ways with some friends – Ed Schultz, Krystal Ball, Abby Huntsman and Toure will be leaving MSNBC. Please join me in thanking them for their numerous contributions over the past several years, and in wishing them great success.

Beginning in a few weeks, Chuck Todd will bring his unmatched brand of political insight and analysis back to MSNBC with a daily one-hour program. That show will air weekdays at 5pm.

I know you read press reports last week speculating about these changes. I hope you can understand that we were not able to confirm at that point because we had not yet finalized many of the decisions I’m sharing with you today, and we hadn’t yet spoken directly with the people involved.

Sounds like exit deals weren’t finalized to me so MSNBC couldn’t come out and say much at the time.

In the coming weeks, as we complete our plans to create a new look and flow for our dayside programming, our 3pm to 6pm hours will begin the pivot towards live, breaking news coverage – with interim hosts from among our very talented ranks. And then, in September, we’ll unveil a 9am to 5pm schedule driven by dynamic coverage of breaking news events that are shaping the day.

Change can be hard. There’s no doubt it’s been a difficult time, but we have exciting opportunities ahead.

Phil

I just knew Wagner wasn’t going anywhere when her husband joined NBC. It’ll be very interesting to see what that “key role” will manifest itself as given how she went opinion on her show. It will be difficult to successfully recast her as a neutral after that. You can’t un-ring that bell.

19 Responses to “It’s Official…”

  1. Shocked and sad to see Abby Huntsman go. Even more shocked that Alex Wagner and Al Sharpton have survived.

    Think I’ll watch CBSN until Brian Williams comes.

  2. “Alex Wagner will stay with MSNBC and play a key role in our political coverage as we head into the 2016 election. And Ari Melber will continue in his role as Chief Legal Correspondent. But we will be parting ways with some friends – Ed Schultz, Krystal Ball, Abby Huntsman and Toure will be leaving MSNBC.”

    ^^My guesses as to what would happen with the departing hosts Wagner, Melber, Schultz and Toure were pretty much dead on. I only missed Ball and Huntsman and they will probably still appear as pundits on various MSNBC shows although they will not be employees.”

    My question is who hosts what for the next few weeks until the new shows start up? My guess; its a generic rehash of the “news” that appears on Thomas Roberts show hosted by a mish-mash of generic MSNBC sub host like Richard Lui. We’ll see.

  3. Toure will be a natural fit at what CNN has become. I could see Huntsman at FNC. No idea about Ball; Schultz’s TV days are likely over.

  4. bushleaguer Says:

    Fritz – I doubt Ball and Huntsman will remain….that memo was quite clear in regards to saying farewell. That said, given that both are political analysts this is probably the best time to be fired as other networks will be looking to beef up their pool of analysts.

    As for Alex Wagner, she will probably return to the role she had before she got her own show which was that of a roving analyst appearing on shows across the network, especially during the daytime. This way they can have a straight news anchor asking questions and letting folks like Wagner injecting the partisanship. Let’s just hope that they hire some Republican analysts to even things out.

  5. “I doubt Ball and Huntsman will remain….that memo was quite clear in regards to saying farewell.”

    ^^They can still appear regularly on MSNBC. They just won’t be called MSNBC employees.

    “That said, given that both are political analysts this is probably the best time to be fired as other networks will be looking to beef up their pool of analysts.”

    ^^That may be true and they could end up as pundits on CNN but I don’t see them at FNC even though Huntsman is supposedly a conservative. She has a higher upside than Ball, as she’s not as strident a partisan, and can therefore crossover to non news nets.

  6. bonnieux Says:

    I thought Alex Wagners husband was a chef at the Whiite House. What is he doing at NBC?

    Today is Ed Schultz’s last show as is Wagner’s. Won’t miss Wagner’s show but surely will miss The Ed Show. He has fought long and hard for progressives and unions.
    Perhaps Ed will be wanted elsewhere but not before cameras — behind the scenes in some manner. His daily podcast programs ( wegoted)will have to do for now Ed will sorely be missed.

    As for Mr Todd he won the big lotto.
    Have stopped watching MTP. So now he will have two shows That will turn people away from watching MSNBC all the more I gather.

    So far no news on Keith Olberman
    Going back to MSNBC.
    MSN is going in wrong direction I believe.

    No mention of Chris Matthews!
    His contract expires after the pres election. In 2016. I’ll bet he will retire then. Hope not.

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  7. […] at Inside Cable News makes a valid point, but what makes him think MSNBC cares? We’ve already seen opinion host Joy Reid transformed […]

  8. I’m very disappointed in MSNBC. If I want live breaking news, I can watch CNN. If I want insanity, I can watch FOX. MSNBC is where I went for informed commentary on important issues. Also, I don’t think Chuck Todd walks on water. He’s okay, but to have both MTP and an hour in the 5PM timeslot is too much mediocre for me.

  9. When is MSNBC going to stop focusing on constantly changing things weekdays and do something about that awful prison nightmare every Friday night and caught on camera on weekends? And BTW, losing Ed Shultz is a shame.

  10. imnotblue Says:

    ^ When the prison shows stop being their biggest ratings achievements.

  11. I think you guys at MSNBC are idiots! The Cycle was a fantastic show, Alex Wagner’s show was great and there is no one like Ed. What are you thinking? I get it now – when you put Chuck Todd on that will appeal to more GOP since he is bias toward them. I watched MSNBC religiously for at least 7 or more hours a day (I am retired). Now I will switch to CNN! Thanks for nothing! You lost a viewer and I am confident you will lose more.

  12. This is about ratings which equals money in the real world. You can’t have people blathering for a few viewers (in TV world) and continue to be profitable. And, in the real world you have to make money to pay people salaries. To make that money advertisers have to believe when they spend their money there are enough people seeing the ads that it was worth it!

    Even leftist MSNBC has to survive in a capitalist world!

  13. I would much rather have read a story on how they were replacing that POS Scarborough. I end up yelling at the TV nearly every time I see that beady-eyed pinhead or hear him spout his incredibly partisan crap! I guess he is still haunting the only liberal-leaning channel on cable news because he brings in a few right wingers from Fauxnews. Too bad they only exist for ratings.

  14. I liked The Daily Rundown when I lived in DC and the stuff mattered. Now that I live in somewhere not in the Beltway, I just don’t care for the Chuck Todd shows. It’s essential viewing in the Beltway but none of it matters to the rest of America.

  15. Mr. Clark: see my comment about ratings. Ratings=money. Money is needed for the world to go round, etc., etc., etc. Dam* capitalism rears its’ ugly head all the time, right?

  16. Deborah Gostin Says:

    Losing money, ratings? How low did they slip? What else was running opposite the time slots showing lower ratings? Those of us who have bought and sold media know ratings can be manipulated to look like something is a true success or failure by selecting the day parts that look better or worse. Why do so many stations or television shows say they’re number one? Because ratings might have come out showing, for example, that CNN is number one with adults between the ages of 25-54 who are viewing specific shows airing on Wednesdays from 8p-midnight. With radio, it could be morning drive that looks great ratings-wise, and afternoon drive that that doesn’t do as well. I doubt ratings were so bad they HAD to change course. It’s what the folks over there wanted to do, period.
    Liberal voices losing equal time…

  17. Deborah Gostin Says:

    If you are going to miss The Ed Shultz Show, you can still get an ear full! Go to wegoted.com! He’s still around!

  18. If MSNBC wants better ratings, for them it just got worse because I will not watch anymore. Why Ed Schultz? This is the worst mistake. Putting him at 5:00pm no one is at home to watch, since I do it online to catch him. Will follow Ed online. Goodbye MSNBC..what a foolish decision, you just cut the program that most viewers watch. Your ratings will decline further.

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