TVNewser’s Mark Joyella tries to float a leaden trial balloon…a two hour Brian Williams show on MSNBC from 8-10pm.
I don’t think I could have come up with a more unlikely, cringe-worthy scenario if I tried.
Shall I rattle off why this won’t work, could never work, and would not even be considered?
– NBC is not going to pay Williams $50 million to work at MSNBC. Can you imagine the ad copy for that kind of move? NBC can. You think CNN had to wither through that multi-million dollar PR campaign number for Anderson Cooper that FNC and MSNBC flung in CNN’s face repeatedly? Just wait. This would be a lot worse.
– But let’s say for argument’s sake that NBC and Comcast collectively generate the biggest combined brain fart in TV history and decide to put Williams on MSNBC. For two hours? Nobody does two hours. You can’t book for two hours in prime. Hell, even the morning shows have stopped booking seriously past the first hour. The second hour is filled up with filler that you can generate and book quickly. And, here’s the thing, the morning shows have a fleet of staffers at their disposal to do this support stuff. Williams, if he were to get a 2 hour show, will have a staff that is nowhere close to that.
– Move Maddow to 10? You really want to mess that up…put all three prime hours at risk? No. You don’t move Maddow when you are messing with other parts of primetime. And since you don’t move Maddow, Williams doesn’t get two hours unless they want to bookend her show. CNN can get away with it because it’s doing news. Williams wants to be Jay Leno.
– Williams would, correctly, consider this a huge demotion. This is worse than a starting NFL quarterback being demoted to backup…or even third string. This is a starting NFL QB being sent to the European Football League as a third string backup. Williams will never go for this.
– And because of that, this means it’s Nightly News or nothing. Williams knows it. NBC knows it. Everyone out there should know it. This is why the odds are severely stacked against a Williams return to NBC. He wants the one thing that will mean the death of NBC News as a functional growing entity.