Rachel Maddow doesn’t seem to have much in common with John Oliver. But starting next month, the MSNBC anchor and the HBO comic will offer viewers something similar: a program that analyzes the news just once each week.
Starting in May, Maddow will scale back her duties at MSNBC, moving from what had been a five-days-per-week role to hosting only on Mondays, as she revealed to viewers this evening. She is changing her schedule after signing a new pact with NBCUniversal that gives her aegis over a broader range of projects, including podcasts and films
”I do still have all these other irons in the fire, all these other things I’m working on that I want to bring to fruition, none of them are fast, all of them take a long time, and I’m still working on all of them,” Maddow said on her MSNBC program Monday evening. She delivered her remarks after returning from a weeks-long hiatus that let her deal with some of those new content initiatives.
MSNBC did not announce any sort of successor for its 9 p.m. hour, which Maddow has anchored since September of 2008, when she used to have Keith Olbermann as a lead-in. Instead, the network will deploy a rotation of anchors. Ali Velshi and Alex Wagner have been among those who have filled in the Maddow slot in recent weeks .
Maddow may surface more frequently on occasion. She is expected to appear on other days of the week for special coverage and major news events, including the midterm elections.
Her departure from the other four days of the week leaves MSNBC with a new challenge to navigate: How does it keep viewers coming in to one of the most competitive hours on cable-news TV when the anchor who attracts so many of them isn’t appearing in regular fashion?
MSNBC rivais have faced similar obstacles. Fox News managed to drive new viewership to its 7 p.m. hour with a rotation of hosts after moving anchor Martha MacCallum to an earlier timeslot. Now opinion host Jesse Watters is winning bigger audiences at 7 p..m., where he has taken up permanent residence.
But 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. are very different hours in the business of cable news. For the past several years, 9 p.m. has been a place for some of cable’s hottest talk, with Maddow vying with CNN’s former host Chris Cuomo and Fox News’ Sean Hannity. Some of that heat dissipated after the departure of former President Donald Trump.
Maddow’s show snared nearly $66.2 million in advertising in pandemic-ridden 2020, according to Kantar, a tracker of ad spending — only a little less than the $69.2 million it captured in 2019. The show’s top sponsors in 2021 have included advertisers like Procter & Gamble’s Tide and Mazda.
Maddiow gets lumped in with other cable opinion hosts, but she cuts a different figure than many of them by focusing intently on very granular research. Few other anchors can lead off with a 22-minutes essay on a larger topic that often includes history and context along with the news of the day. Maddow does, and even hosts like Fix News’ Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham have expressed admiration for her abilities, if not for the politics she supports on her program.
MSNBC may find people to succeed Rachel Maddow, but it’s not clear yet that the network can replace her.
Rachel Maddow Reveals Nightly MSNBC Talk Show Will Move to Weekly Format
“I still have all these other irons in the fire, all these things I’m working on that I want to bring to fruition,” Rachel Maddow said while announcing the new schedule for her show Rachel Maddow
Rachel Maddow is scaling back her on-air hours on MSNBC starting next month.
On Monday, the political commentator, 49, announced her nightly television program, The Rachel Maddow Show, will turn into a weekly format, airing on Mondays only.
After addressing her recent hiatus, Maddow said she does not need “another big stretch of time off.”
Instead, she said, “Here’s the plan. I’m back, I’m going to be here all this month, Monday through Thursday nights. Now, for big news events, for things like the lead up to the election, I will of course be here more than that.”
She added, “I will be here this month…and then starting next month, starting in May, I am going to be here weekly. I’m going to be here on Monday nights to give myself just more time to work on some of this other stuff I have cooking for MSNBC and NBC.”
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A spokesperson for the network told The Hollywood Reporter that rotating guest hosts will temporarily fill in for Maddow’s slot.
Also on her show Monday, Maddow said, “I do still have all these other irons in the fire, all these other things I’m working on that I want to bring to fruition, none of them are fast, all of them take a long time, and I’m still working on all of them.”
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Maddow has been hosting her eponymous series since 2008. The political news program is based on her former radio show of the same name. Over the years, she has faced criticism from conservatives for her liberal political stance.
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n 2020, she told The Guardian of her opposers, “Bring it. Your hatred makes me stronger. Come on. Give me more. Give me more. I love it!”Rachel Maddow
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