MSNBC Boss Gives Inside Scoop on Prime-Time Shakeup

Mar 15, 2013  •  Post A Comment

MSNBC President Phil Griffin opened up with some insights about changes to the prime-time lineup at the cable network. As we reported previously, Ed Schultz is moving to weekends, with Chris Hayes standing by to take over the 8 p.m. nightly slot.

Citing an interview with The Daily Beast, TVNewser reports: “Griffin says that the move was, in fact, Schultz’s idea. ‘This began with Ed coming to me,’ Griffin insisted. ‘And I will tell you that Ed has an incredible following in the network. … Ed and I were talking about his contract, and Ed is a very sharp guy. He said he wanted to be here long-term. … He wanted to spend more time in Minnesota. I said, ‘Well, Ed, I am extending the weekend. I need someone for 5 to 7. It’s critical. It’s going to be as important as 8 to 10 [on weeknights].’ And he came back to me and said, ‘I want to do that long-term.’”

The chief also talked about Hayes’ upcoming weeknight show.

“Griffin said he wants Hayes to bring ‘the spirit’ of his morning program to 8 p.m., but acknowledged that a weeknight show must be faster-paced and animated by the news of the day,” the TVNewser piece reports. “He claimed not to know whether Hayes, who favors open-necked shirts on weekend television, will yield to the conventions of cable news and start wearing a tie, like every other evening MSNBC host, from Chris Matthews to Al Sharpton to Lawrence O’Donnell (though not Maddow).”

Added Griffin: “I don’t tell anybody what to wear.”

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