MSNBC chief Phil Griffin finally confirmed Chuck Todd is returning to the network to host a 5 PM series while continuing to host NBC broadcast network’s Sunday Beltway show.
Griffin also confirmed, in a Change Can Be Hard memo to staff, that its 3-6 PM lineup is toast: The Cycle, Now with Alex Wagner and The Ed Show. This is as everyone has been speculating. Griffin apologized to staff on that, saying, “I know you read press reports last week speculating about these changes. I hope you can understand that we were not able to confirm at that point because we had not yet finalized many of the decisions I’m sharing with you today, and we hadn’t yet spoken directly with the people involved.”
Todd returning to headline an MSNBC series now makes for a Sunday Beltway show trend: Jake Tapper, headlines CNN’s Sunday Beltway Show while anchoring The Lead weekday afternoons, and ABC’s George Stephanopoulos hosts This Week while continuing to have a co-anchor role on ABC News’ morning infotainment program Good Morning America.
Griffin did not address his Brian Williams plans.
But, elsewhere, in his memo to staff, he did say:
I’m writing to share a number of changes we’re making as we build a new daytime lineup with the best live, breaking news coverage on television.
As of this Friday, “The Cycle,” “Now with Alex Wagner” and “The Ed Show” will air their final shows.
Alex Wagner will stay with MSNBC and play a key role in our political coverage as we head into the 2016 election. And Ari Melber will continue in his role as Chief Legal Correspondent. But we will be parting ways with some friends – Ed Schultz, Krystal Ball, Abby Huntsman and Toure will be leaving MSNBC. Please join me in thanking them for their numerous contributions over the past several years, and in wishing them great success.
Beginning in a few weeks, Chuck Todd will bring his unmatched brand of political insight and analysis back to MSNBC with a daily one-hour program. That show will air weekdays at 5pm.
In the coming weeks, as we complete our plans to create a new look and flow for our dayside programming, our 3pm to 6pm hours will begin the pivot towards live, breaking news coverage – with interim hosts from among our very talented ranks. And then, in September, we’ll unveil a 9am to 5pm schedule driven by dynamic coverage of breaking news events that are shaping the day.
Change can be hard. There’s no doubt it’s been a difficult time, but we have exciting opportunities ahead.