Lawrence O’Donnell Will Be Off MSNBC “For Several Weeks” After Car Accident

By | Monday April 14, 2014 @ 2:40pm PDT

lawrenceodonnell1The Last Word host Lawrence O’Donnell will be off the air as he recovers from a weekend car accident. MSNBC confirmed the news today in a statement: “Lawrence O’Donnell and his brother Michael were injured in a taxi accident … Read More »

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CNN Hits Near Low In Q1 Ratings, Fox News On Top Again For 49th Time, MSNBC Down

By | Tuesday April 1, 2014 @ 11:04am PDT

cnnlogo4__140310195953They may have had a March ratings surge with their constant coverage of the missing Malaysian Airliner but it wasn’t enough to save CNN from one of their worst quarterly primetime results ever. Between December 30, 2013 and March 28, … Read More »

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CNN Doesn’t Mind Media Storm So Long As Viewers Shower It With Ratings

By | Wednesday March 26, 2014 @ 3:18pm PDT

cnnlogo4LisaColumn__131015210634-275x198Weekly Column: Just when it looked as though the Missing Malaysian Airliner story was running out of gas, officials announced this morning that French satellites have grabbed images of more than 100 “potential objects” from Flight 370 in the southern Indian Ocean about 1,500 miles off the coast from Perth, Australia, giving CNN fresh material with which to hang on to the story for dear life. The maybe-debris, which was scattered over 154 square miles — roughly the size of Denver –  ranges in length from 3 to 72 feet which, some CNN pundits noted,  is about the length of a wing on the Boeing 777 that disappeared March 8 as it was heading from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 on board. Reporters Who Cover Television, and Columnists Who Want In On The Web Traffic, who in the preceding three weeks had exhausted their repertoire of derisive comments about CNN’s flood-the-zone coverage of the missing plane, spent the day looking haggard and care-worn, like a Borgia who’d just realized he’d run out of cyanide with another banquet about to be served.

Here, in a two-week ratings nutshell, is why Reporters Who Cover Television and Columnists Who Want In On The Web Traffic can harrumph all they want about CNN’s coverage of the missing airplane, but CNN is not going to let go of this story:

newcnnplanechart

 

CNN-bashing is a favorite sport among journalists — the festivities generally break out whenever the network dives on one of those disaster-with-international-angle stories that are in CNN’s wheelhouse. Read More »

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UPDATE: Ronan Farrow Tweet Touting Malaysian Airliner Grief Breaks Cease-Fire Among TV News Rivals

UPDATE, 1:40 PM: We spoke too soon. TV news types blasted MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow after he tweeted/touted this morning that he had exclusive footage of the girlfriend of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 passenger Philip Wood when she received news from Malaysia Airlines that it believed the plane went down in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Australia and that there were no survivors.

Ronan Farrow Tweet

Farrow tweeted by way of promoting his MSNBC program that is telecast at 1 PM. His tweet was deleted when outrage ensued, and sniffed at his earlier self in a subsequent tweet: Read More »

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FNC Hangs On To Ratings Lead But CNN’s Bill Weir Tops His Timeslot, While NBC’s Chuck Todd Joins CNN Critics As Missing Plane Coverage Continues

As the Mystery of Missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 mystery dragged on, Fox News Channel continued its hold on primetime BillWeirThursday in the news demo (391,000) with CNN a competitive No. 2 (321,000) followed, not closely, by MSNBC (166,000) and HLN (128,000). Piers Morgan Live, hosted by possible Morgan replacement Bill Weir (373,000), was the only CNN program to best FNC — Megyn Kelly (353,000) in the demo. But CNN took a tumble at 10 PM when the network switched from missing-plane coverage to docu-series Chicagoland (172,000). FNC’s Hannity clobbered it (331,000). Earlier in the evening, CNN’s Erin Burnett (347,000) came within 9,000 demo viewers of FNC’s Greta Van Susteren (356,000), after which FNC’s Bill O’Reilly (486,000) widened the lead, over CNN’s Anderson Cooper (420,000). Read More »

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Malaysian Airliner Search Overnight Drama Keeps TV News Operations Humming: Video

By | Thursday March 20, 2014 @ 7:34am PDT

malaysiaairjet1Around 11:30 PM ET last night word that new satellite images had pinpointed two large objects in the ocean a couple thousand miles off the coast of Australia electrified TV news teams covering missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. Fox New Channel‘s Shepard Smith jumped back on the air at midnight to report on the new development, but anchored from the newsroom studio because it takes a big team to fire up The Deck. CNN  broke into its AC360 repeat at 11:26 PM with CNNI anchor John Vause, with Don Lemon and Richard Quest jumping in at 11:55 PM and Anderson Cooper added at 12:07 AM. MSNBC‘s Betty Nguyen anchored for that network, handing off to Chris Jansing around 2 AM.

ABC‘s lucky David Wright was flying on a U.S. Navy surveillance plane in the Indian Ocean when it was directed to the sightings, and told Nightline “We’ll be the first on the site.” But when ABC’s Good Morning America clocked in this morning, Wright, now back in Perth, reported the surveillance plane had turned up only a freighter and some dolphins. Watch Wright’s GMA report here:


ABC US News | ABC Business News

Watch Shep’s midnight report here: Read More »

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Fox News Tops Cable’s Total-Viewer Rankings With Week Of Ukraine, Malaysia Airlines Mystery And Obamacare Deadline

By | Tuesday March 18, 2014 @ 10:47am PDT

Ukraine, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370,fox-news-logo and the Obamacare deadline catapulted Fox News Channel to No 1 among cable networks in primetime last week, with an average of 2.049 million viewers. FNC edged past USA  (1.907 million), History (1.898 million), AMC (1.796 million), TBS (1.73 million), TNT (1.613), and ESPN (1.334 million). CNN finished the week 22nd among cable networks with 800,000 primetime viewers of all ages, and MSNBC ranked No. 27 with 666,000 primetime viewers. In total day, FNC ranked No. 3 with viewers 2+, CNN ranked No. 37 and MSNBC ranked No. 28.
Read More »

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Fox News Beats Rivals In Ratings When Harlem Explosion Becomes National News

By | Thursday March 13, 2014 @ 2:56pm PDT

jcbldg[1]Fox News Channel was the most-watched network yesterday morning during the breaking news of the explosion in Harlem, NY,  both total viewers and in the news demo. At 10 AM ET, when reports of an explosion demolishing a building first broke, … Read More »

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Ronan Farrow’s MSNBC Programs Slips In News Demo, Inches Up With Younger Crowd

By | Wednesday February 26, 2014 @ 2:37pm PST

Ronan FarrowMSNBC‘s Ronan Farrow Daily slipped slightly in its second telecast Tuesday, averaging 209,000 viewers — 45,000 of them in the news demo –  but his audience crept up to 34,000 in the younger 18-49 demo. Still, even his young demo numbers fell short of one year ago, when Andrea Mitchell Reports logged 492,000 viewers in the time slot on the comparable Tuesday, including 123,000 in the news demo and 106,000 in the 18-49 demo. Mitchell’s program also averaged 382,000 viewers ages 50 and older, while Ronan Farrow yesterday clocked 174,000 in that age bracket, so his show can be said to be skewing younger. Farrow’s lead-out, The Reid Report, scored 307,00 viewers and 79,000 in the news demo on Tuesday.

Farrow’s debut Monday scored 216,000 viewers — the cable network’s smallest audience of the day, tied with 10 AM’s Jansing & Co. Farrow — who was recruited, in part, to attract the next generation of news viewers to the network — averaged just 21,000 msnbc_logo_20110630160351__121213191013__140102224602viewers in the younger 18-49 demo Monday. Among 25- to 54-year-olds, he logged an average of 46,000 viewers. His biggest audience by far was among viewers ages 50 and older — 195,000 of them. That older skew is typical of news programming but might be somewhat surprising given how assiduously he catered to younger viewers during his maiden broadcast. Read More »

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Ronan Farrow’s New MSNBC Program Off To Weak Start: Video

By | Tuesday February 25, 2014 @ 1:50pm PST

Ronan FarrowRonan Farrow‘s debut as host of Ronan Farrow Daily on MSNBC scored 216,000 viewers Monday — the cable network’s smallest audience of the day, tied with 10 AM’s Jansing & Co. Farrow  — who was recruited, in part, to attract the next generation of news viewers to the network — averaged just 21,000 viewers in the younger 18-49 demo. Among 25- to 54-year-olds, he logged an average of 46,000 viewers. His biggest audience by far was among viewers ages 50 and older — 195,000 of them. That older skew is typical of news programming but might be somewhat surprising given how assiduously he catered to younger viewers during his maiden broadcast.

Related: February Cable News Numbers: CNN Tumbles As Fox News Channel Logs 146th Consecutive Win; MSNBC Hangs On

Farrow recruited fewer viewers — and fewer young ones — than did Andrea Mitchell Reports in its new timeslot. Mitchell’s show logged 223,000 overall viewers, including 48,000 viewers in the msnbc_logo_20110630160351__121213191013__14010222460218-49 demo, and 71,000 in the news demo — 25-54. Mitchell’s show, ironically, did not do as well with the 50+ crowd as did Farrow, scoring an average of 174,000 of them. The only program that scored a smaller crowd of 18- to 49-year-olds on MSNBC that day was the show that followed Farrow’s, The Reid Report — the other new program making its debut that day, hosted by Joy Reid. It clocked 262,000 overall viewers, just 14,000 in that younger demo, 38,000 in the news demo, and 245,000 viewers ages 50+.

Related: MSNBC Apologizing Now Officially A Trend
Read More »

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February Cable News Numbers: CNN Tumbles As Fox News Channel Logs 146th Consecutive Win; MSNBC Hangs On

By | Tuesday February 25, 2014 @ 11:46am PST

February cable ratings are in –  Piers Morgan may be out at CNN, but what about the rest of the network’s primetime, which looked none too good for the month, all losing around half their audience compared to same month last year? CNN‘s Anderson Cooper cnnlogo__130909223055-200x95__131028185652__131031215342__131104224558__131108225110__131209225955at 8 PM dropped 47% February to February in overall audience to average 421,000 viewers, and 46% in the news demo to 127,000 viewers for the month, according to Nielsen. In his defense, Cooper’s lead-in, Erin Burnett Outfront, dropped 39% to post an average of 293,000 viewers in February –  CNN’s smallest monthly haul in the timeslot in more than two decades — and slipped 32% in the news demo to 100,000 viewers. Morgan’s getting scrubbed from 9 PM at CNN because, for instance, he logged 347,000 viewers for the month — down 46% –  and 100,000 demo viewers — down 38%.

foxnewschannel__121107055533__130821210939Meanwhile, Fox News Channel has now reached 146 consecutive months at No. 1 in total viewers, in both total day and primetime, among cable news networks, and is for February the only cable network up in both total viewers and the demo compared to last February. In all of cable, Fox News ranked third in primetime (8-11 PM) – behind USA Network and History – and fifth for total day. Meanwhile, neither CNN or MSNBC were able to crack the top 20 in either daypart. CNN ranked 39th in prime and 34th in today day; MSNBC 26th in prime and 27th in total day. Every hour of the day, Fox News dominated CNN and MSNBC  combined in total viewers. It also beat both networks in the news demo. Read More »

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Alec Baldwin Announces Retirement From Public Life In Magazine Cover, Calls MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow “Phony”

By | Monday February 24, 2014 @ 8:57am PST

Former NBC comedy star and MSNBCalexbaldwin1 interview host Alec Baldwin has announced in a New York Magazine cover story that he is quitting public life after being let go by MSNBC over language he used in an on-the-street rant against a photographer. In the piece, Baldwin calls MSNBC star Rachel Maddow a “phony” who doesn’t have the same passion for the truth off-camera as she appears to have on-camera,” according to the interview that was published late last night. In late November, MSNBC and Alec Baldwin‘s camp announced jointly that Baldwin’s Friday show was toast: “We are jointly confirming that Up Late will not continue on MSNBC,” the cable network and Baldwin rep Matthew Hiltzik said. Added MSNBC: “This is a mutual parting and we wish Alec all the best.” It was the first MSNBC had spoken about Up Late’s suspension, Baldwin having announced earlier that month the network had suspended his show for two weeks. That came  after TMZ posted a video clip in which he was seen tearing into a photographer with what the press reported sounded like at least one gay slur and possibly two, though Baldwin denied uttering the second one, and said he did not realize the first was a slur. Read More »

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Super Bowl XLVIII: The Good, The Bad, The Ads

Super Bowl 2014Super Bowl XLVIII: total bust as a game, middling year for ads –  though outrage was tearing up Twitter by the time the game sputtered to a close over a Coke commercial in which “America the Beautiful” was … Read More »

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UPDATE: MSNBC Begins Probation, RNC Tells FNC In Re Cheerios Ad Tweet (Video)

By | Friday January 31, 2014 @ 6:43am PST

LisaColumn__131015210634-275x198UPDATE, 6:41 AM:  MSNBC began probation today. MSNBC was put there by the RNC, after network chief Phil Griffin apologized to RNC chief Reince Priebus before Priebus could appear on FNC‘s Hannity to talk about the boycott of MSNBC he’d organized in the wake of the net’s Cheerios ad tweet. Yesterday afternoon, Priebus announced that until he got a personal and public apology from Griffin himself  for the tweet on the net’s official web site, suggesting “rightwing”-ers might not like Cheerios’ new Super Bowl ad featuring a multi-racial family, RNC staffers were banned from contact with MSNBC. Priebus said he’d asked all members of the GOP to do same.  On the strength of that, Hannity booked Priebus for his show. But Griffin apologized quickly, which left Priebus to tell Hannity he’d put MSNBC on probation: “Now we have to stay on top of it. So you know what? It’s sort of like being on probation I guess. But the fact of the matter is, we’re here, we’re watching them,” Priebus said. He warned that if he sees any more rannygazoo coming from the general direction of MSNBC, “I’ll do it again. I promise you that.”

PREVIOUS, 1:19 PM Thursday: MSNBC says it has let go the employee who tweeted that “maybe the rightwing will hate” Cheerios’ new Super Bowl ad featuring a multiracial family, and that MSNBC president Phil Griffin has personally apologized to Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus for the tweet. Meanwhile, Fox News reported Priebus will give his first Cheerios Tweet-gate interview to Hannity at 10PM/ET. ”The tweet last night was outrageous and unacceptable,” Griffin said in a statement today. “We immediately acknowledged that it was offensive and wrong, apologized, and deleted it.  We have dismissed the person responsible for the tweet. I personally apologize to Mr. Priebus and to everyone offended. At MSNBC we believe in passionate, strong debate about the issues and we invite voices from all sides to participate. That will never change. ”

PREVIOUS, 10:45 AM: RNC chairman Reince Priebus says MSNBC’s apology for its tweet about a Cheerios commercial does not go far enough, and is organizing a msnbc_logo_20110630160351__121213191013__140102224602GOP boycott of the cable news network. MSNBC has deleted the tweet, called it “offensive,” said it “deeply regrets” the tweet. The network apologized and said it “does not reflect the position of MSNBC.” The tweet was about a Cheerios ad running in Sunday’s Super Bowl, featuring the same interracial family used in an earlier Cheerios ad that generated such hateful comments on YouTube that the video’s comments section was shut down. “Maybe the rightwing will hate it, but everyone else will go awww: the adorable new #Cheerios ad w/ biracial family,” MSNBC tweeted, while also directing readers to its report on the ad with video of the ad.

reince-priebusNot enough, says Priebus, who’s trying to orchestrate a GOP-wide boycott of the network until MSNBC president Phil Griffin  himself “personally and publicly” apologizes for “this behavior,” telling Griffin in a letter that also made its way to the media that “such petty and demeaning attacks have become a pattern at your network” and jumping to a discussion of how “many of your hosts have personally denigrated and demeaned Americans – especially conservative and Republican Americans – without even attempting to further meaningful political dialogue.”  Technically, some of those people are now “former hosts.” Read More »

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Super Bowl Ad: MSNBC Apologizing Now Officially A Trend – This Time For Tweet About Cheerios Commercial (Video)

LisaColumn__131015210634-275x198Does someone at MSNBC get a bonus for every media report that includes the name “MSNBC” and the word “apology”? This time, the cable news network apologized for a tweet it posted last night suggesting/fearing/hoping conservatives msnbc_logo_20110630160351__121213191013would not like the new Cheerios Super Bowl ad, and directing readers to its report on the ad. The spot features the same interracial family used in an earlier Cheerios commercial that set off quite a discussion — YouTube’s comments section on the ad was turned off when the talk got particularly heinous. “Maybe the rightwing will hate it, but everyone else will go awww: the adorable new #Cheerios ad w/ biracial family,” MSNBC tweeted, directing readers to its report and ad video.

Outrage ensued, with headlines including “MSNBC Slimes ‘Right Wing’ as Racist Over Cheerios Ad,” and “MSNBC Trolls The Right With Cheerios Tweet,” among others. Cue up MSNBC apologies via Twitter:

One minute later it tweeted:

 

More media headlines: “MSNBC Apologizes For Tweet Taunting Conservatives Over Super Bowl Ad Starring Biracial Child,” and “MSNBC Apologizes After Racially Charged Gaff About Cheerios,” to name just two.

MSNBC has done a mess of apologizing lately: Our list includes former show host Martin Bashir’s apology for on-air comments about Sarah Palin, show host Melissa Harris-Perry’s tearful apology for program panel in which fun was poked at Mitt Romney’s family photo featuring a black grandson on his knee, and former show host Alec Baldwin’s mea culpa over on-the-street anti-gay rhetoric.

Here, in its entirety, is MSNBC’s report on the ad, to which the tweet had directed readers, followed by the new Cheerios Super Bowl ad that caused the kerfuffle, and that original Cheerios ad:
Read More »

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UPDATE: State Of The Union Address Clocks President Obama’s Smallest Crowd Yet – 33.3 Million Viewers

By | Wednesday January 29, 2014 @ 1:50pm PST

UPDATE, 1:50 PM: An average of 33.3 million viewers watched President Obama’s State Of The Union Address Ratingssecond State of the Union address of his second term in office, Nielsen reported this afternoon. The speech was carried live from 9 PM to 10:15 PM ET on 13 networks and tape-delayed on Univision. In detail, the actual number was 33,299,172 viewers across CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, Azteca, Fox Business, Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, Al Jazeera America, Galavision and Mun2, Nielsen said. Last year’s SOTU address logged an average of 33,497,607 viewers.

For comparison sake, Obama’s first Address to the Joint Session of Congress (POTUS’ first such speech, months after taking office, is not called the State of the Union address) clocked nearly 52.4 million viewers, the largest number of viewers since President George W. Bush’s address following the 9/11 attacks. All of Obama’s SOTU addresses in his first term averaged bigger crowds than last night’s; his smallest audience in his first term was 37.8 million for his final address of that term.

To put cable news in perspective — about 9 million of last night’s viewers watched on Fox News Channel, CNN and MSNBC.

PREVIOUS, 11:39 AM: Fox News Channel clocked more viewers than CNN and MSNBC combined for the speech, averaging 4.718 million viewers – 1.198 million of them in the news demo. MSNBC logged 2.292 million, including 752,000 in the demo; CNN posted 2.081 million with 763,000 in the demo.

Related: Ratings: Early State Of The Union Numbers In Line With 2013 Read More »

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UPDATE: Congressman Apologizes For Threatening To Throw TV Reporter Off Balcony After State Of The Union (Video)

By | Wednesday January 29, 2014 @ 9:53am PST

LisaColumn__131015210634-275x198

UPDATE, 9:40 AM: New York Rep. Michael Grimm told a gaggle of reporters outside his office this morning he expects his mother to remind him he was not raised to threaten to throw reporters off of balconies. and that he’s scheduled a lunch with the NY1 reporter to whom he made the offer, Meanwhile, NY1 reporter Michael Scotto tweeted he’s accepted Grimm’s apology.

PREVIOUS, 7:53 AM: Time Warner Cable landed one of the biggest scoops of the State of the Union address last night, when a congressman offered to throw one of its reporters off the balcony in the hall, and/or break him in two, during a post-address interview (see video below). It’s believed to be a State of the Union Address first and understandably is the subject of some talk on the morning news show circuit today. “He did seem angry, he seemed angrier than I have ever seen a politician talk to a reporter about a question that he or she didn’t like,” NY1 reporter Michael Scotto reminisced this morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

“He” is New York Rep. Michael Grimm,Michael Grimm whose campaign finance issues have been of interest to some news outlets of late — the FBI arrested his fundraiser Diana Durand earlier this month, according to published reports. Scotto told various TV news outlets this morning that Grimm has been dodging the media but, after President Obama’s speech last night, he agreed to give Scotto an interview — at the end of which Scotto tried to ask him about allegations about his campaign finances. Grimm can be seen telling Scotto he won’t discuss anything but the POTUS speech and the stalking off. Scotto may have pitched it a little too strong to his viewers when he wrapped up with: “Congressman Michael Grimm does not want to talk about some of the allegations concerning his campaign finances, we wanted to get him on camera on that, but he, as you saw, refused to talk about that. Back to you.”
Read More »

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Fox News Channel Extends Cable News Ratings Winning Streak In January

By | Tuesday January 28, 2014 @ 10:55am PST

fnc1Fox News Channel extended its cable news winning streak to 145 consecutive months with the release of January ratings. In overall audience fnc-cnn.JPGFNC outstripped CNN and MSNBC combined in prime and in total day; it also led in the news demo, though by smaller margins.

With total viewers, FNC landed in the Top-5 among all cable networks in total day, while CNN and MSNBC settled for No. 38 and No. 29, respectively, and HLN clocked in at No. 47. In prime, FNC finished January at No. 7, CNN at No. 40, MSNBC at No. 30, and HLN at No. 46.

cnnlogo__140117174347-275x131In primetime, only HLN grew year to year, in the demo – 6%, to 123,000 viewers. That said, FNC, at a leading 264,000 viewers, was down just 1% in the demo in primetime. CNN plunged 35% to 131,000 viewers in the age bracket, and MSNBC slid 2% to 231,000 viewers. In total day in the demo, HLN grew 11% to 101,000 viewers, besting CNN’s 98,000 – a 27% drop. MSNBC fell 8% to 148,00 viewers, while FNC grew 5% to lead the pack with 220,000 viewers. Read More »

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Ronan Farrow’s MSNBC Show Gets February Start Date

By | Monday January 27, 2014 @ 9:35am PST

msnbc_logo_20110630160351__121213191013__140102224602More than four months after MSNBC confirmed that Ronan Farrow would be getting his own show on the cable news network, he finally has a debut date. Farrow’s yet unnamed show will premiere on February 24 at 1 PM ET, MSNBC announced this morning.  Also joining the daytime lineup is longtime contributor and Grio.com editor Joy Reid. The recent fill-in host’s own show will also start February 24 at 2 PM ET following Farrow. “Ronan and Joy are two of the most thoughtful and impressive journalists out there and I’m excited for what they will bring to the afternoon,” said MSNBC president Phil Griffin in a statement today. The additions mean some current MSNBC shows will be moved around: Andrea Mitchell Reports will shift to noon, and NewsNation With Tamron Hall will move to 11 AM ET. Read More »

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