Inside MSNBC’s Big Shakeup


For Axios broken Even top producers were surprised by the news that MSNBC extended “Morning Joe” by an hour on Wednesday night, replacing Brian Williams at 11:00 EST with Stephanie Ruhle.

Important reason: Due to the leak, MSNBC leaders will be able to see what the fourth hour of Morning Joe will look like, how the producers in charge of additional shows, and how 9am will respond to West Coast viewers. I scrambled to answer the question.

Get the right market news for your time at Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.

  • Considering that MSNBC President Rashida Jones and NBC Universal Newsgroup Chairman Cesar Conde planned about two weeks ago to first approach the host of “Morning Joe”, many details are available, according to sources familiar with the discussion. Was not completely burned.

detail: With Morning Joe celebrating its 15th year in September and continuing to outpace CNN in the morning, Jones, Conde and other executives thought it made sense to extend the show. But they started taking it seriously a few weeks ago. After the ruler moved at 11 pm and decided to keep the 9 am slot open.

  • Hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, who are married and deeply involved in the show’s day-to-day operations, were excited about the idea, but sources familiar with their ideas say what the extension means to the staff. I had a question about what to do.

  • The same team produces “Morning Joe” from 6am to 9am EST, as well as “Way Too Early” at 5am EST.

  • The additional time of 9am Eastern Standard Time will open the opportunity for “Morning Joe” to address the West Coast audience. But that also meant that the show team needed to understand the new coverage plan.

  • Ruler, a senior business correspondent and former banking executive at NBC News, fixed the show when the market opened and often invited West Coast-based guests to talk about technology and business news.

Catch up quickly: Even before William departed last winter, senior executives began to consider major line-up changes in 2022, according to two sources familiar with their ideas.

  • The top priority is to stay more focused on familiar franchises and understand how top talent can be leveraged to boost streaming efforts.

  • August, network announcement Nicole Wallace’s show “Deadline: White House” will be expanded to two hours, and Chuck Todd’s weekday show “MTP Daily” (short for “Meet the Press”) will be moved early in the afternoon.

  • A few weeks later, Rachel Maddow, the most acclaimed star on the network, Reach A multi-year contract with NBCUniversal runs a production company that uses the network to expand its portfolio of projects, but excludes her from day-to-day hosting operations at 9 pm in the golden time of 2022.

Be wise: Several staff members Axios spoke to said the leader was surprised when the story broke.

  • Just hours before the Axios story was published, an NBC news leader hosted a phone call with staff about a network update. The topic of who would replace Maddow and Williams was one of the first questions they were forced to answer.

  • Jones said he would talk more to employees about 11 pm Eastern Standard Time when there was something to share. She didn’t provide up-to-date information on who would replace Madou, but Mador wouldn’t be too far away, she said.

  • According to another source, Jones was unable to call Williams’ former turf “11 Hours” staff before the news came out.

  • When asked to comment, Jones said:

What’s next: Ruhle will launch an anchor for “The 11th Hour” within a few weeks, according to network sources familiar with MSNBC’s plans. 9am staffing plans and production logistics are still under consideration.

Disclosure: NBC is an investor in Axios and Sat Brainch, Chief Commercial Officer of NBCU News Group, is a member of Axios’ Board of Directors. Axios journalists will appear on MSNBC.

More Axios Information: Sign up to get the latest market trends at Axios Markets. Subscribe for free