Personally, I’m quite pleased with MSNBC’s programming decision…
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes has been tapped to replace outgoing host Ed Schultz in the 8 p.m. weeknight slot, according to network sources.
In just a year and a half, Hayes has generated a cult following as host of the weekend program “Up with Chris Hayes,” which takes a progressive policy wonk’s approach to the news. He will now host a show directly ahead of his mentor Rachel Maddow, MSNBC’s marquee name, and, at age 34, will be the youngest primetime host in cable news television.
The move, first reported by Brian Stelter of the New York Times, was confirmed by sources for POLITICO. MSNBC is expected to make a formal announcement later today, and would not reply to a request for comment.
Schultz announced on Wednesday night hat he would be ending his weeknight program and moving to a two-hour slot on Saturday and Sunday evenings. Schultz, a talk radio personality, has served as an MSNBC primetime host since 2009, and became best-known as an advocate for unions, labor and the middle class. His new show will air on weekend nights from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. — a relative no-man’s land for cable news programming.
Like former MSNBC host Dylan Ratigan, Schultz suggested that the move was his choice and that he wanted “to get out with the people and tell their stories.” Sources at MSNBC told POLITICO that Schultz was more likely pushed out to make way for new — and younger — talent. By tapping Hayes, MSNBC is continuing its push to bring cable news to a younger demographic.
Hayes has long been seen as a primetime host-in-waiting at MSNBC, given his rapid success, though in Nov. 2012 he told POLITICO he’d be “reluctant” to give up the freedom and autonomy that comes with hosting a two-hour weekend show.
Hayes’ replacement on Saturday and Sunday mornings has yet to be named. Sources had long speculated that Ezra Klein might get Schultz’s primetime spot, so it is conceivable that he could take over on weekend mornings.
UPDATE (10:00 a.m.): And now it’s official.
- MSNBC ending Ed Schultz’s weekday show (politico.com)
- Schultz’s weekday show ending (oddonion.com)
- MSNBC’s Ed Schultz Leaving Primetime For Weekends; No Replacement Named Yet (deadline.com)
- MSNBC removing Schultz from prime time (cnsnews.com)