Ronan Farrow is moving from the anchor chair to the correspondent’s desk after MSNBC decided to cancel Ronan Farrow Daily as part of a shift away from breaking news and toward more in-depth features.
MSNBC announced Thursday that it would cancel both Farrow’s program and The Reid Report, and in their place bring in Thomas Roberts to host a two-hour block of news programming.
While his show may be finished, Ronan Farrow will still play an important role at MSNBC. He will be launching a series of primetime specials that include in-depth interviews. He will also appear as a special correspondent across the network, and he will continue his partnership with the NBC News Investigative Unit. Joy Ann Reid will also continue on with MSNBC, serving as national correspondent across many programs and also as the first dedicated reporter for NowThisNews, an MSNBC online partner. The moves come as MSNBC reached its lowest full-day ratings in a decade. The network’s daytime ratings were down 20 percent in January, including 37 percent in the “money” demographic of 25- to 54-year-olds.
As Variety notes, the shakeup could be part of a larger shift for MSNBC.
“The network could be borrowing a page from CNN, which under Jeff Zucker has used daytime to drill down on select breaking-news events like plane crashes, troubled cruise ships and race riots and found its ratings on the upswing as a result. CNN has trumped MSNBC in the ratings for the last several months, with its ‘New Day’ morning program winning more viewers in the advertiser-desired adults 25-54 demo than MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe.’ “
Ronan Farrow, the son of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen, said he was inspired to get into television after talking to young people who were frustrated at the state of television news programs.
“I think what people crave is more involvement in the story,” the Yale Law graduate told the Hollywood Reporter. “There has been a democratization of information. But what they still crave, and what I crave as a TV viewer, is a guide on how people can have agency in the story. And this show is all about empowering people to do that. People want a return to real democracy. They want to respond to these events [in Washington] that there is so much frustration about.”
Ronan Farrow has worked in the Obama administration, overseeing “civil society and nongovernmental actors” relationships with Afghanistan and Pakistan. He was also appointed by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as Special Adviser for Global Youth Issues and Director of the State Department’s Office of Global Youth Issues.