The Ed Show is exiting MSNBC’s primetime for weekends, host Ed Schultz announced tonight. “And in the big finish tonight, a big personal and professional announcement. MSNBC will be expanding its weekend programming and this opens a big opportunity for “The Ed Show” and my brand. I will be leaving this time slot at 8 pm ET and moving to Saturday and Sunday from 5 to 7 PM,” Schultz said at the end of the show this evening. The change to weekends will happen in April. “I’m thrilled for Ed and happy to be expanding our weekend programming. It’s an exciting time for MSNBC and I’m looking forward to having Ed’s powerful voice on our network for a long time,” said Phil Griffin, President of MSNBC in a statement Wednesday. The number two rated cable network says it will likely announce a replacement for the strident Schultz on Thursday. Frequent MSNBC contributor and Washington Post columnist Ezra Klein is considered the top contender.
Situated as the lead-in to the network’s top rated The Rachel Maddow Show, the Ed slot is a hot one for MSNBC. Schultz performed well for the network ratingswise and certainly helped contribute to MSNBC seeing double-digit gains in 2012 in both viewers and the key adults 25-54 demographic in primetime. The hour long Ed Show debuted on the liberal leaning MSNBC with the syndicated radio host as frontman in April 2009 at 6 PM ET. It went to 10 PM for a while in early 2011 and later that year in October, the show was moved to the 8 PM ET slot where it has remained ever since.
UPDATE: Don’t look for Time Magazine’s Mark Halperin to appear on another news show right away now that he’s been suspended by MSNBC. We’re told that the suspension does not let him out of his contract which precludes him from appearing on another news network during its duration. MSNBC President Phil Griffin called Halperin on his cell phone shortly after the end of Morning Joe this morning to inform him of the decision to suspend him. Griffin told Halperin what MSNBC intended to say in a statement. Halperin immediately agreed and said that he wanted to make a statement as well.
Time Magazine has just issued a statement upbrading its Editor at Large. The magazine says his “comments on air this morning were inappropriate and in no way reflective of Time’s views. We have issued a warning to him that such behavior is unacceptable. Mark has appropriately apologized on air, via Twitter and on The Page.” Halperin added that his remark “was not funny. I deeply regret it.”
PREVIOUS, 9:07 AM: MSNBC has suspended political analyst and contributor Mark Halperin indefinitely for a slur he made today on Morning Joe describing President Obama. During a discussion of the president’s Wednesday press conference, Halperin, also an editor at large for Time magazine and co-author of Game Change, was asked by host Joe Scarborough what he thought of the president’s performance during the press conference. “Are we on a seven-second delay today?” Halperin asked. “I want to characterize how I thought the president behaved.” After assurances that there was a delay, he said: “I thought he was kind of a dick yesterday.” Read More »
British talk show hosts seem to be hot commodity for cable news networks these days. As CNN is reportedly pursuing Piers Morgan to replace Larry King, MSNBC has lured Nightline co-anchor Martin Bashir to anchor his own daily afternoon show and a contribute to NBC’s primetime newsmagazine Dateline NBC. Bashir, who … Read More »