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NY Daily News, Deadline, Mediaite

NBC News Chief Says MSNBC May Get a Name Change — and That’s Just the Beginning

Jul 24, 2015  •  Post A Comment

Andrew Lack, the new head man at NBC News, says big changes are in the works for MSNBC, which has been struggling to keep pace with its cable news rivals.

Among the changes that are on the table, according to a report in the New York Daily News, is a name change. The change would be part of an extensive rebranding that appears to be moving forward at MSNBC.

Lack unveiled some of the plans at a packed town hall meeting Thursday at 30 Rock in New York for NBC News and MSNBC staffers. One staffer who was at the meeting told the Daily News: “Andy said he’s contemplating a name change because Microsoft is no longer a part of the channel — and hasn’t been for a long time.”

The source added: “He asked for a show of hands,” apparently seeking to find out whether staffers considered the move to be a good idea. “No one raised their hands and he moved on pretty quickly.”

Deadline.com notes that Lack, in his first town hall meeting since becoming NBC News Group chairman four months ago, “laid out plans to greatly increase collaboration between the ratings-starved cable news network and NBC News as part of a strategy to focus on breaking news on the cable network and de-emphasize left-leaning opinion programming.”

Lack reportedly did not give specifics about any programming changes. But the meeting followed news that “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd appears to be headed back to MSNBC to anchor a new one-hour show, as we reported yesterday. Various media outlets have reported that Todd’s show may revive the name of his old MSNBC show, “The Daily Rundown.”

In a report released prior to Thursday’s meeting, Mediaite was citing “a well-placed source” saying a number of changes were about to be announced affecting MSNBC’s afternoon lineup. News of these changes, however, did not surface from the meeting.

Mediaite reported at the time that “The Cycle,” “Now with Alex Wagner” and “The Ed Show” were all on the way out.

The Mediaite report adds: “Andrea Mitchell will keep her program at noon (‘Andrea Mitchell Reports’). Thomas Roberts will continue to anchor his midday news program from 1:00-3:00 PM. The programs being cancelled at 3:00 PM (‘The Cycle’) and 4:00 PM (‘Now with Alex Wagner’) will be replaced by a straight news program (similar to Roberts’ two-hour newscast preceding it). Whether that 3:00-5:00 PM slot goes to Brian Williams is not known at this time, but it would certainly make the most sense to put Williams directly up against Fox’s Shepard Smith (‘Shepard Smith Reporting’) and CNN’s Brooke Baldwin (‘CNN Newsroom’) for the first hour in a similar format.”

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8 Comments

  1. Andy Lack clearly is out of touch with loyal man can viewers who are leaving in droves because of Chuck Todd and Scarborough. We love Ed and other regulars. Lack’s moves will seal the coffin at msnbc, not save it.

  2. Bring back Olbermann!!!! Rating took the dive off the cliff when he left.

  3. The far left whachos who make up the dwindling viewer base of MSNBC will, of course, be upset that a babbling mouthpiece like Ed Schultz would be replaced by someone who might actually be successful. Do these people not understand that a tv show cannot be sustained if nobody watches it? Andrew Lack is intent on making the network viable, which will pretty much require that he drop the left wing rah, rah, crap and put honest, trustworthy programming on the air. Its the Mother of Irony that he will be stuck with Brian Williams to launch this effort.

  4. If Mr. Lack really wants to address the lagging numbers, he should consider putting MSNBC on regular cable instead of the viewer having to pay extra for the premium channel. FOX is free, therefore it is everywhere and MSNBC is considered too highbrow to be in the regular mix of stations. Too bad. If more people had been exposed to MSNBC as well as FOX it would have been a much more fair ratings fight.

  5. We hope that MSNBC is not going to start trying to out FOX FOX News. If that is the case then me and a lot of people that watch that channel will do like the late Jackie Gleason used to say,”A And way we go”.
    Why don’t you get rid of Joe Scarborough. He don’t let nobody talk except him self…Make it Mornings With Mika.

  6. I watch all three channels – FOX, CNN and MSNBC and MSNBC’s weekly evening lineup, with the exception of Chris Matthews, is that they are almost all identical and coverthe exact same news and use the exact same b-roll and file footage and have the same commentators and experts. Almost the same set too. MSNBC needs a good one-on-one interview show-something to fill the void left by Larry King, and my preference would be to have a plain set with round table similar to Charlie Rose or Tim Russert’s show (not MTP). They need to ditch the prision shows if they want to be taken seriously as a news program, perhaps consider more original documentaries. Meet the Press needs to stop putting their MSNBC show headliners on all the time as guest panelists – smacks of self-promotion.

  7. I am an MSNBC cheerleader. I think there needs to be a network to counter Fox.
    I agree it should be basic cable, not premium.

    More importantly the network basically changes talking heads and does the same 3 stories, over and over , and over…all night long. Some are more intelligent, some more preachy, some are just yelling. But it is the same stories, with slightly different nuance, and different delivery.

    I think the idea of talking about nothing but politics, and then the ridiculous prison shows all weekend is really really tiring, and I just stopped watching all of them. I think MSNBC would be better off with reruns of the weeks programming, than doing prison shows all weekend long. It really seems amateurish,

    Some ideas
    MSNBC should make itself available to cord cutters, a growing, younger, audience, by streaming its LIVE content into the ROKU system and through other streaming services, and/or work out a deal with Netflix to have live streaming of its content.

    It’s content though, could be improved dramatically.
    All stars could be recruited. I always felt that John Stewart could be approached to do projects that he cares about and wants to do. It would be great if he could be coaxed into doing a weekly hour of documentary or a show covering deeper into topics he thinks are important, or maybe even do a weekly show like Charlie Rose on PBS, or Maher on HBO. And look what Howard Stern did at Sirius. Say what you will, think what you want, he has a HUGE and Loyal Audience.
    10 million subscribers.. to paying for radio, and he is largely the reason why.
    Yes, I say Howard Stern could do an 11 pm show, Entertainment.

    NEWS noon-7pm Andrea Mitchell, Brian Williams
    POLITICS Chris Matthews, Chuck Todd
    COMMENTARY Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes
    SPORTS Tim Tebow college sports? / Olbermann?
    ENTERTAINMENT/Documentary Howard Stern, Jon Stewart

  8. I sure wish MSNBC would go back to being a channel for Democrats again. You audience don’t want to watch Sara Palin ranting and raving about how good Trump is. We can see that on Fox if we want. You got rid of two of your best people in Keith Oberman and Ed Schultz. We use to watch all the time and seems like we have to turn you off a lot now. Not good. I’d appreciate a responce.

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