A comment buried in a long election night story that ran in The New York Times has triggered speculation that MSNBC fixture Ed Schultz may be on the way out at the cable network. But TVNewser reports that it’s probably premature to scratch him out of the lineup.
“Buried around word 1,130 of Brian Stelter‘s 1,200-word New York Times piece on MSNBC’s election night, its ratings gains, strategy and future plans, is this bit, which, of course, is getting the most attention,” TVNewser reports, quoting the following passage from the Times story:
“Several MSNBC employees, who spoke about programming plans on the condition of anonymity, said the most likely candidate for a new show was the Washington Post columnist Ezra Klein, a frequent substitute for Ms. [Rachel] Maddow. Mr. Klein may start with a weekend time slot, but these people said the 8 p.m. weekday time slot held by Mr. Schultz was also a possibility.”
TVNewser tracked down an MSNBC spokesperson, who told the website: “We’re very happy with the performance of our primetime lineup, which topped Fox News Channel three nights this week. There are no changes planned.”
The piece also reports: “An insider adds Klein is ‘a rising star’ but adds weekday primetime is set. And it seems odd that they would [replace Schultz]. Thursday night Schultz’s 11 p.m. ET re-air topped the re-air of cable news’ #1 show for the last 10 years, ‘The O’Reilly Factor,’ among younger viewers. In October, Schultz delivered the best demo viewership in the 8 p.m. hours since March 2009.”
Schultz’s “The Ed Show” has held town the 8 p.m. slot for the past year. But the piece notes that MSNBC President Phil Griffin continues to groom new talent, with Melissa Harris-Perry and Chris Hayes, along with Klein, among the candidates to move into more prominent spots at the network.