March 14, 2013 by David K. Sutton
Ed Schultz Out, Chris Hayes In At 8pm On MSNBC
Last night Ed Schultz announced he was moving his show to weekends starting in April. It was not a total shock because there was speculation of an 8pm change on MSNBC that included the possibility of Ezra Klein getting the high profile spot. But in a somewhat surprise announcement, MSNBC says Chris Hayes will take over the 8pm time slot up against Bill O’Reilly on Fox News and Anderson Cooper on CNN.
I have a few thoughts on this move. First, congratulations to Chris Hayes. He proves that intelligent, meaningful and thoughtful programming can rise to the top, even in the current cynical partisan minefield. But I can’t help but be a bit sad that Up with Chris Hayes will cease to exist once he moves to prime time This is a big loss. I’ve said more than once that Up is the smartest and probably the most important show on TV. It remains unclear how much of that 2-hour, early weekend morning format can survive in a 1-hour prime time show.
On the other hand, I never really warmed up to Ed Schultz. I think his heart is in the right place, but his bombastic style seemed at odds with MSNBC’s most popular show, The Rachel Maddow Show. Having Chris Hayes as the lead-in to Rachel Maddow creates a continuity in their programming. Even Lawrence O’Donnell, who can be abrasive at times, is much more on the intellectual, shall we say, wonk-ish end of the talk show host spectrum.
Now that we know Ezra Klein is not getting the 8pm slot, is it possible he will take over the 8am to 10am slot on weekends?