MSNBC dumps shows to refocus on news

2015-07-31 20:00

Cape Town – MSNBC (StarSat 263) is dumping several shows as the struggling American TV news channel is starting to claw its way back to relevance and a focus on hard news reporting.

MSNBC announced late on Thursday that The Cycle, Now with Alex Wagner and The Ed Show will all abruptly have their last editions today as the struggling American TV news channel tries to move from a progressive slanted channel to once more focused on straight hard news and breaking news.

MSNBC president Phil Griffin told staff of the 24-hour TV news channel on Thursday in an internal memo that the three shows will be gone after Friday.

It follows the cancellation in February of Ronan Farrow and Joy Reid's shows. Longtime presenter Ed Schultz who've anchored on MSNBC since 2009, as well as Krystal Ball, Abby Huntsman and Toure are leaving MSNBC.

Alex Wagner will stay on and Ari Melber who was one of The Cycle's panelist will also remain as MSNBC's chief legal correspondent.

Chuck Todd, the moderator of Meet the Press seen on Sundays at 23:00 on sister channel CNBC Africa (DStv 410) will get a new, daily hour long show, keeping his Sunday show and adding the new MSNBC programme.

Chuck Todd's new daily MSNBC weekday show which hasn't been named yet will be be seen at 23:00 on weekdays in South Africa.

'It’s been a difficult time'

"In the coming weeks, as we complete our plans to create a new look and flow for our programming, our hours will begin to pivot towards live, breaking news coverage – with  interim hosts from among our very talented ranks," Griffin told MSNBC staffers.

"In September we'll unveil a schedule driven by dynamic coverage of breaking news events that are shaping the day".

The discredited, damaged and recently removed news anchor Brian Williams – previously  of NBC Nightly News and also seen daily on CNBC Africa on DStv across Africa but now with new anchor Lestor Holt, will now be appearing on MSNBC.

After Brian Williams admitted that he falsified reports during trips covering news stories, he was removed from NBC Nightly News earlier this year, but will now become MSNBC's "anchor for breaking news reports".

MSNBC has not yet said when Brian Williams will start to appear on the 24-hour TV news channel, although it is likely that it will co-incide with the new schedule coming into effect from September.

"Change can be hard. There's no doubt it's been a difficult time, but we have exciting opportunities ahead," Phil Griffin told MSNBC staffers.

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