MSNBC president Phil Griffin on Friday informed staffers that he is cancelling three afternoon programs: roundtable discussion show The Cycle as well as Now with Alex Wagner and The Ed Show, hosted by Ed Schultz. Friday, July 31, will be the final show for all three. Schultz and Cycle hosts Krystal Ball, Abby Huntsman and Toure will leave the network, while Wagner will stay on to cover the 2016 presidential election. Meanwhile, Chuck Todd, who earlier this year was made host of Meet the Press, will host a daily program at 5 p.m.
This is a network that is so far in the toilet it is looking to Brian Williams to resurrect its reputation. While getting rid of some of the dead weight may seem like a good start, the mere fact that they’re keeping the perpetually vapid Wagner on to cover the presidential election shows that Phil Griffin isn’t ready to give up the progressive rating ghost yet. In the end, MSNBC may not make any serious strides until he is sent packing too.
While CNN may still be floundering too, it’s not as bad as it was during MSNBC’s brief tenure in the ratings sun, when the latter’s numbers only looked good if compared to the former. What success there was could at least have been a result of CNN trying to be the centrist alternative in cable news for a while, leaving leftists it used to serve nowhere to go but MSNBC. It was basically a participation trophy.
It remains to be seen if the petulant and persistent complaining about Fox News will still be a centerpiece of MSNBC’s broadcast model, given that it just makes them look like sore losers. In fact, it has become such a tired staple of left-leaning cable media that even the new “Daily Show” host is planning on dialing it back.