According to Mediaite’s Joe Concha, NBC News president Andy Lack is asserting control and plans to make some major changes in MSNBC’s daytime programming. The goal is to try and stem the ratings slide the network has been experiencing for the last three years.
MSNBC will cancel three programs, The Cycle, Now with Alex Wagner and The Ed Show with Ed Schultz, and replace them with a straight news show between 3 and 5 p.m. Meet the Press host Chuck Todd will reportedly take over Schultz’s 5 p.m. slot with a program similar to CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper.
The Cycle never really caught on as a liberal alternative to Fox News Channel’s The Five, and Wagner has never distinguished herself as the host of her own show, unlike her female counterparts at CNN and Fox News. Schultz formerly had a primetime show and was then banished to the weekends before returning to a late afternoon slot, where he put up some of the worst ratings in cable news, often finishing fourth behind little-watched HLN.
These changes are long overdue. Once they are made, maybe Lack will tackle the primetime lineup, which continues to lose ground to Fox News and CNN.