MSNBC will cancel three daytime shows this September as the network shifts away from opinion-based programming in an effort to boost the flagging ratings that have plagued the network for years. The three shows MSNBC decided to cancel are The Cycle, Now with Alex Wagner, and The Ed Show, reports Politico.
Alex Wagner and Ari Melber, the latter of whom is MSNBC’s chief legal correspondent, will remain with MSNBC, but Ed Schultz, who hosts The Ed Show, will leave, along with Abby Huntsman and Krystal Ball. MSNBC has come under some fire after the decision to cancel its contracts with Huntsman and Ball while keeping their male counterparts on staff.
According to a statement released by MSNBC, “Alex Wagner will stay with MSNBC and play a key role in our political coverage as we head into the 2016 election. But we will be parting ways with some friends – Ed Schultz, Krystal Ball, Abby Huntsman and Toure will be leaving MSNBC.”
MSNBC President Phil Griffin released a statement regarding the decision to cancel the shows. In that statement, Griffin revealed MSNBC will “unveil a 9am to 5pm schedule” in September, including shows “driven by dynamic coverage of breaking… events that are shaping the day,” reports News Oxy. Griffin believes daytime should be a place for “live, breaking news coverage” and wants the network’s shows to reflect that, making the decision about which shows to cancel easy.
While recognizing that the decision to cancel the shows is difficult, MSNBC asserts the changes are necessary.
“Change can be hard. There’s no doubt it’s been a difficult time, but [MSNBC has] exciting opportunities ahead.”
The decision to cancel the shows have been expected for some time, reports Politico, and MSNBC hopes the new shows will boost ratings, which have been steadily declining. In an effort to boost the flagging network, NBC News chief Andrew Lack is reformatting MSNBC as a hard-hitting news and politics station, requiring a shift away from opinion-based programming.
MSNBC will add shows hosted by Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd, and Brian Williams will begin his new role as the MSNBC breaking news and special reports anchor. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Brian Williams was relieved of his Nightly News duties after lying about his role in a helicopter shoot down during the war in Iraq. Instead of firing Williams, the network shifted him to MSNBC.
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