DISCLAIMER: UPDATE FROM MARCH 13TH AT BOTTOM
In a report praising MSNBC’s Election Night coverage, New York Times writer Brian Stetler dropped a little news nugget towards the bottom of the post.
Stetler, citing anonymous MSNBC sources, suggested that Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein could replace Ed Schultz at the 8pm hour (or possibly get his own weekend show). Schultz, whose “THE ED SHOW” has been a network staple since 2009 was part of the channel’s election night coverage and I remind you that this is only a possibility.
Several MSNBC employees, who spoke about programming plans on the condition of anonymity, said the most likely candidate for a new show was the Washington Post columnist Ezra Klein, a frequent substitute for Ms. Maddow. Mr. Klein may start with a weekend time slot, but these people said the 8 p.m. weekday time slot held by Mr. Schultz was also a possibility.
No word from Schultz or Klein yet.
Thought I’d just add a bit more analysis now that the story has sort of been circulating around the internet for the past couple hours. It does appear somewhat unlikely that Ezra Klein, who has only guest-hosted for Rachel Maddow a few times, would be thrown to the wolves of primetime right away. I would imagine seeing him on the weekend AMs or perhaps at 7:00pm in lieu of Chris Matthews’s repeat.
But Ed Schultz is key to MSNBC. Klein, Chris Hayes, Melissa Harris-Perry and even Maddow represent the “wonk”/”nerd” demographic. Matthews is 66 and Lawrence O’Donnell is on at 10:00pm so there is a void of “blue-collar” liberalism shows on MSNBC during early primetime hours. Schultz may not be the smoothest or most sophisticated of news reporters but he does target a completely different demographic than the other hosts. It’d be unwise to drop Schultz unless Schultz either wants out or has some rift with management.
EDIT: 9:06PM (3/13/13)
Been a while since I updated this but Ed Schultz announced that he will be on the weekends at 5-7pm starting in April, presumably freeing up the 8pm hour on weeknights. Sounds like the ideal opportunity for Ezra Klein to finally get his own show, smack dab between Hardball and Rachel Maddow. Very interesting hear as MSNBC continues to move into a wonkish direction to combat Fox News.
Nothing confirmed yet but seems like the earlier report was close to accurate.
EDIT: 10:27AM (3/14/13)
Here’s something that slightly shocks me, but a report is coming out that it’s not Klein but Chris Hayes (host of the weekend show Up With Chris Hayes) will replace Schultz at 8pm. Interesting choice considering Hayes is very similar to Rachel Maddow but a great choice nonetheless. I would have to assume Klein would get Hayes’s old weekend timeslot.