MSNBC Replaces ‘Rita Cosby’

Jun 29, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Rita Cosby is losing her year-old MSNBC show and will get her own specials unit for the cable channel effective July 10.

The shuffle, which MSNBC announced Thursday, is the first big move of Dan Abrams’ three-week tenure as MSNBC’s general manager.

“Rita Cosby: Live and Direct,” which has been telecast at 10 p.m. (ET) weeknights and repeated at 1 a.m. (ET) since late spring, will be replaced by taped documentary programming, under the familiar label of “MSNBC Investigates.” Ms. Cosby will serve as the primary anchor of “Investigates,” which has been led by various rotating anchors over years. “Investigates” also will run at 11 p.m.

Joe Scarborough’s “Scarborough Country” will remain at 9 p.m. weeknights.

“The Situation With Tucker Carlson” will move into the 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. timeslots that have been the home of “The Abrams Report,” the legal-issues and crime show that Mr. Abrams hosted prior to his promotion.

Ms. Cosby left Fox News Channel last year to host her weeknight show. In June, “Rita Cosby” averaged 233,000 viewers, 93,000 of them in the core news demo of 25 to 54, according to data from Nielsen Media Research. That’s down from her first month on the air, August 2005, when she averaged 398,000 viewers, 146,000 of them in the demo.

In addition to being down since last year, “Rita Cosby” has been losing lead-in from “Scarborough Country,” which averaged 319,000 viewers, 109,000 of them in the demo, in June.