Mediaite’s Joe Concha reported Thursday that MSNBC is getting rid of Jose Diaz-Balart so they can give the morning program an extra hour.
In an exclusive scoop on Thursday, media critic and conservative commentator Joe Concha stated that MSNBC would be giving its morning opinion show, Morning Joe, an additional hour. The program, which already runs three hours each weekday, will now broadcast from 6 AM to 10 AM ET, In order to make room for Morning Joe, MSNBC has decided to kick Jose Diaz-Balart to the curb. Currently, the respected Cuban-American reporter hosts the 9 AM to 11 AM slot on the network.
Over the past few months, MSNBC has been revamping its schedule in order to refocus its network branding away from liberal-based political opinion to more hard news reporting. Since the beginning of this year, we’ve seen shows hosted by Ronan Farrow, Joy Reid, Alex Wagner, Ed Schultz and the young crew of The Cycle get canceled. Last week, Al Sharpton saw his show, PoliticsNation, shuffled off to Sunday morning. Meanwhile, it has been understood that the only programs that aren’t in danger of being moved or axed are Morning Joe, The Rachel Maddow Show and Hardball with Chris Matthews.
While MSNBC has said it wants to focus more on hard news, giving a political opinion show like Morning Joe four hours seems to fly in the face of that logic. Same goes with giving Meet the Press host Chuck Todd a one-hour late-afternoon broadcast that will also center mostly on Washington politics. While it appears that there will be slightly more hours devoted to actual news broadcasting than in the past, it seems that more of the focus isn’t on being a news channel, but being a more centrist, perhaps even Republican-friendly, network.
But will this all backfire? Giving a substance-free gabfest like Morning Joe four full hours to allow Joe Scarborough to bloviate endlessly seems like a bad idea on the surface. Especially when you consider that the hosts have decided to jump all the way on the Donald Trump bandwagon, allowing the real estate mogul and whining six-year-old to pop on the program anytime he wants to get free airtime for his campaign and personal brand. (Joe has especially embraced Trump’s anti-Latino rhetoric.) This is made even worse that, in order to get the extra hour to blather on, the network got rid of its most well-known Hispanic personality.
The bad optics of giving a Trump-friendly program more airtime at the behest of a Latino anchor was noted by many after Concha’s article went up.