Still More MHP vs. MSNBC…

The Washington Post’s Paul Farhi says it’s over and also raises questions about Jose Diaz-Balart’s future with the network…

MSNBC executives said they were surprised by Harris-Perry’s blast on Friday and that it may have stemmed from her perception — incorrect at the time, but now virtually inevitable due to her actions — that her weekend program was about to be canceled. “She’s a brilliant, intelligent but challenging and unpredictable personality,” one executive said. “There was no plan to cancel her.”

He added, “It’s highly unlikely she will continue” at MSNBC. Her email “is destructive to our relationship.”

This executive disputed Harris-Perry’s assertion that MSNBC executives had not communicated with her, although he said Harris-Perry has never met Andrew Lack, the NBC News chairman who was rehired by the network last year after the controversy over Williams. The decision to preempt Harris-Perry’s program for election-news coverage over the past several months was made by MSNBC’s president, Phil Griffin.


Diaz-Balart’s hosting duties are also in question at the network, with one senior executive terming his chances of continuing his program beyond another month at “50-50.” Scenarios under review include extending the “Morning Joe” program into Diaz-Balart’s slot or creating a new program hosted by one of “Morning Joe’s” regular personalities.


One Response to “Still More MHP vs. MSNBC…”

  1. When you started writing about MHP you seemed to be taking the host brand angle, though your “militant aversion” is better looking at the big picture. But that’s only part of picture. I think the situation with Olberman has similarities, but it happened in a different context. Hosts aside, the network wasn’t out to purge the message it had been putting out like it is now. The MHP issue isn’t surprising. It was only a matter of time before a personality took it personal and dissent spewed over. MSNBC had it coming for two reasons:

    1) They loaded up their opinion side with minorities.
    2) They didn’t manage perception.

    Farhi wrote:

    “All of the changes carry a potential perception risk that MSNBC is diminishing the contributions of its minority personalities, network officials acknowledge. In addition to the issues with Harris-Perry and Diaz-Balart, the network’s new emphasis on news during the day have led to the demotion of two African American hosts: the Rev. Al Sharpton and Joy Reid.”

    –Briefly: Did they not know having Diaz-Balart hosting from Miami wouldn’t be straight-forward? Balart v. Trump made few waves compared to Jorge Ramos. He’s been at Telemundo for some time, and he’s good enough for Nightly News so why the buyer’s remorse now?–

    Stelter wrote:

    “Conversations about race, gender and politics are a cornerstone of Harris-Perry’s acclaimed talk show. But executives at MSNBC wanted her to just cover presidential politics that day — no time for “Formation.” “Her executive producer had to fight for it.”…This fight — fundamentally about editorial control — comes at a time when MSNBC and its rivals are trying to squeeze higher ratings out of the chaotic primary season… MSNBC’s decision, back in 2012, to give her four hours of weekly air time was, to put it simply, a big deal.””

    I don’t know about acclaimed, they could have brought cameras to any philosophy or political science college class in New York City, and they could have a more engaging and diverse professor/host and students/panel.

    That aside, “Formation” was MHP’s bread and butter. She went from getting 4 hours with tremendous editorial control, to having to fight for the most basic happening her show was made for. An executive admitted to Farhi that Andrew Lack never met MHP since he returned. There’s no room for MHP in Lack’s neo-MSNBC.

    MHP saw the writing on the wall, and she ran with it. A career TV personality wouldn’t have fired the first shot. But TV isn’t MHP’s day job. She’s also a professor, writer, liberal commentator, etc. Making news about her departure (and hinting racial undertones) serves her Brand better than fading out. There’s enough fodder for a book, at least.

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