Could Pete Buttigieg Be Heading To MSNBC?

Pete Buttigieg hosts ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ (screen capture)

Gossip guy Rob Shuter reports that Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana is in the running to host MSNBC’s time slot recently vacated by former Hardball host Chris Matthews.

Complicating that equation, however, is the fact that MSNBC stalwarts Steve Kornacki and Joy Reid both want the gig as well. The two have been alternating as host in the 7 pm ET slot since Matthews’ surprise exit two weeks ago.

From Shuter:

“Steve and Joy both want this job and neither know that behind their backs the network wants Mayor Pete. The new trend is hiring former politicians and the people around them. No-one is a better example of this than Nicole Wallace who worked on the John McCain and Sarah Palin campaign. Her show on MSNBC is now a monster hit and the executives are hoping to recreate that with Mayor Pete,” sources tell STRAIGHT SHUTER. “Let’s be honest, Pete needs a job. The pay is good, and the hours are great, plus after his rise to a national level he isn’t going to want to give up the spotlight.”

I thought Mayor Pete did a terrific job as guest-host this past Thursday for Jimmy Kimmel Live. Check out my review here.

(h/t Instinct Magazine)

Out News Anchor Shepard Smith In Talks With MSNBC

Shepard Smith (screen capture)

Former Fox News anchor Shepard Smith is reportedly exploring a return to television news.

After months of behind-the-scenes clashes with Fox’s right-wing political personality Tucker Carlson, Smith (who came out in 2017) abruptly announced on October 11 he was leaving the network where he’d worked for 23 years.

In his farewell announcement, he told viewers he was looking to begin a “new chapter,” and it looks like that chapter may take place at Fox News’s competitor, MSNBC.

The Daily Beast reports the 56-year-old out journalist is in talks with MSNBC President Phil Griffin about anchoring a new show at the more liberal-leaning news network once his non-compete clause with Fox expires.

An unnamed insider at MSNBC told The Daily Beast, “it’s unclear what slot he would take, but we’d want him in primetime.”

“We are well aware [Jeff] Zucker [president of CNN] is also pursuing him, as are a number of the networks,” added the source.

One possibility might be the 5 p.m. slot currently held by the lackluster, ratings-challenged MTP Daily currently hosted by Chuck Todd. There are rumors the powers that be might move Todd and his crew to a morning slot.

If Smith does end up at MSNBC he would be joining fellow out journalist Rachel Maddow, who currently hosts the top-rated show on the network.

One wonders, though, if his years at right-leaning Fox News might color how MSNBC’s more liberal audiences connect with the veteran newsman.

When Greta Van Susteren left Fox after 14 years for MSNBC, she only lasted six months before the plug was pulled on her new gig, For the Record with Greta.

Wherever he lands, his new network will need to be ready to pony up some heavy-duty duccets as Smith was reportedly earning $15 million a year at Fox News.

You can watch Smith’s goodbye to Fox News below.

News Round-Up: February 23, 2018

(image via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

• Fitness model Quin Bruce looks ready for date night. #ThatFace #ThoseArms #Woof


• Sixteen year-old Joshua Rush, who plays the Disney Channel’s first openly gay character on Andi Mack, says it was important to him to “do it right.”

• Members of the Republican-controlled Virginia House of Delegates on Thursday killed a proposed amendment to the House budget bill that would have added sexual orientation and gender identity to its nondiscrimination provision.

• In the aftermath of last week’s school massacre in Parkland, Florida, several major businesses are ending their partnerships with the National Rifle Association.

• According to Donald Trump, CNN and MSNBC are “failing.” But not according to the latest info from the Standard Media Index which shows that MSNBC grew its revenue from from January 2017 to last month by a 62% and CNN jumped 32% year-over-year. Fox News showed a polite 17% increase.

• Brendan Fraser says a Hollywood bigwig sexually assaulted him by fondling his butt (and more) and the incident affected his acting career.

• Out bronze medalist Adam Rippon says with the Olympics coming to a close, he would definitely take time to chat with Vice President Mike Pence about LGBT issues.

But – Rippon doesn’t think the two have much to chat on: “Mike Pence doesn’t stand for anything that I was taught when I grew up, and I think that it’s important if you’re given the platform to speak up for those who don’t have a voice.”

Thomas Roberts Leaves MSNBC

(image via Instagram)

MSNBC has announced that out news anchor Thomas Roberts will be parting ways with the news network.

A spokesperson for MSNBC issued this statement:

“Thomas Roberts has decided to leave MSNBC for other endeavors. He’s been a valued member of the NBC News and MSNBC family since 2010, and we’re thankful for his contributions and Emmy Award-winning coverage for the news division. We wish him success in his new adventure.”

I’ve been surprised at Roberts’ journey at MSNBC as it seems he just couldn’t find the right fit in the network’s range of programming.

In December of 2016, “Live with Thomas Robert” which aired weekdays at 2PM was canceled. He then took on anchor duties for MSNBC Live on weekends from 5-7 PM.

Prior to that he had hosted “Out There with Thomas Roberts,” a weekly program which focused on LGBT topics for MSNBC’s online digital platform.

Roberts and his team won the network an Emmy in September 2016 for their extensive coverage of the Obergefell decision at the U.S. Supreme Court which made same-sex marriage the law of the land.

MSNBC Tops All Cable Networks For 1st Time

MSNBC celebrates being the most watched cable network for the first time in the network’s history.

Last week’s stats also show that MSNBC has bested CNN in 29 of the last 30 weeks.

Via press release:

For the first time in the network’s 21-year history, MSNBC finished the week as the most-watched cable network during weekday prime (M-F 8-11pm) in total viewers. According to Nielsen, MSNBC ended the week of July 17-21 as the #1 cable network for all weekday prime, averaging 2.34 million viewers, ahead of FOX News at 2.25 million.

MSNBC was previously #1 in cable news in weekday prime during the weeks of May 15, 2017 (behind TNT) and September 3, 2012 (behind USA) among total viewers, but this was the 1st time MSNBC was #1 among all of cable. Additionally, MSNBC’s 7pm through midnight lineup was the #1 cable network in total viewers.

Among cable news, last week marked MSNBC’s 29th weekly win (out of 30 weeks) in M-F prime over CNN with total viewers this year. MSNBC also topped CNN in total viewers in dayside (9am-5pm) and during mornings (6-9am) with “Morning Joe.” The dayside win was the 5th consecutive weekly win over CNN, while “Morning Joe” topped CNN’s “New Day” for the 30th week in a row.

“The Rachel Maddow Show” (9-10pm) also bested both FOX News and CNN among total viewers for the 4th straight week in 9-10pm time period. “Maddow” was the 2nd ranked show in all of cable for the week in total viewers behind WWE Entertainment.

News Round-Up: June 22, 2017

Javier Baez

Some news stories you might have missed:

• Check this sneak peek from the upcoming ESPN Body 2017 issue featuring hottie Chicago Cub Javier Baez. The issue is on newsstands July 7.

• Cincinnati plans to name a street after marriage equality plaintiff/hero Jim Obergefell and his deceased husband, Jim Arthur.

• Trans activist Janet Mock says “very privileged” Caitlyn Jenner is NOT a spokesperson for the trans community.

• Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt is getting his own show on MSNBC even as liberal hosts Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell lead the network in ratings. The good news, though, is out news anchor Thomas Roberts will now host a two hour news block on Saturday evenings from 7-9PM.

• Two years after SCOTUS made same-sex marriage the law of the land, Gallup reports that 10.2% of LGBT adults in the U.S. are married to a same-sex spouse, up from 7.9% before the ruling. Additionally, Gallup estimates 61% of same-sex, cohabiting couples in the U.S. are now married, up from 38% before the Obergefell ruling.

• Crystal Griner, the Capitol Police officer who took down the shooter at a Republican baseball practice threw out the first pitch yesterday at the Congressional Women’s softball game.

MSNBC Wins Cable News War For First Time Ever

The Rachel Maddow Show wins cable news race as #1 show in primetime on basic cable

Via The Hill:

MSNBC finished first in the key 25-54 demographic and in total viewers against its cable news rivals last week for the first time in its 21-year existence, according to Nielsen Research.

Overall, MSNBC finished second in all of basic cable, only falling to TNT, which aired several NBA playoff games.

Fox News finished third in primetime for the first time in nearly 17 years.

For the week of May 15, MSNBC’s weekday prime averaged 2.440 million total viewers, with Fox second with 2.405 million and CNN third with 1.649 million.

For adults aged 25-54, MSNBC averaged 611,000 viewers. CNN finished second with 589,000 and Fox third with 497,000.

The big winners?

“The Rachel Maddow Show” at 9PM was #1 most-watched nonsports program for the week in all of basic cable.

The 8PM time slot was won by CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360.”

The third place winner for the week was Lawrence O’Donnell at 10PM with “The Last Word.” Even with his strong ratings, though, O’Donnell’s contract is set to expire June 4 and is rumored to be on the chopping block.

The last time Fox News finished in 3rd place for the week (Monday-Friday) goes all the way back to June of 2000.

MSNBC Cancelling Lawrence O’Donnell Over Trump Criticism

Via Showbiz411:

I can confirm that MSNBC is ending the top rated “The Last Word” with Lawrence O’Donnell, the popular show that follows Rachel Maddow at 10pm. O’Donnell’s contract is up shortly, and the network has not made any overtures about keeping him on.

There is a fear that despite Maddow’s dogged liberalism, MSNBC is taking a turn to the right. O’Donnell would not fit into that model. But they’ve installed Fox News’s Greta van Susteren at 6pm, and more changes are coming. (This follows the disaster with Tamron Hall and the coming of Megyn Kelly from Fox News, too.)

My NBC sources say that O’Donnell’s tireless criticism of Donald Trump is the cause of the trouble.

O’Donnell calls Trump a liar on TV almost ever night. Says my observer: “Phil Griffin fought back Trump’s demands to Comcast chief Steve Burke that O’Donnell get fired for years. But now he’s president and now it’s Andy Lack’s decision and Andy has never run a single promo for O’Donnell and he wants access to Trump for Lester Holt interview and more.”

MSNBC Pulls Plug On “Live With Thomas Roberts”

Sad to hear that out news anchor Thomas Roberts shared via Facebook that his afternoon show “Live with Thomas Roberts” on MSNBC has been cancelled.

Friends,

I wanted you to hear directly from me…it is true I won’t be keeping my current show weekdays on MSNBC. My last show was Thursday.

My colleagues are incredible people…and I am so proud of our team and our accomplishments. It is always a special blessing when co-workers become close friends and family. We achieved that bond and our hard work was recently honored by winning an Emmy in 2016 for Breaking News coverage of last year’s Supreme Court decision on Marriage Equality. I can’t thank my colleagues enough for years of their dedication to me and our show.

Also, a BIG thanks to the viewers who’ve been supporters of our coverage at MSNBC. Hearing from you (whether positive or negative) is always an important thing for me.
So what’s next? Stay tuned!

In the meantime, I am going to be spending the holidays with my husband and family.
From our family to yours…

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays & Happy New Year,

-Thomas

In truth, that particular time slot has been very difficult for the news network to find solid footing.

For the past few years many hosts and anchors have shifted around as MSNBC tried to figure out how to program the middle of the afternoon.

Roberts took over the two-hour show last year replacing the low-rated “Ronan Farrow Daily,” which, in my opinion, never worked.

The New York Post reports that Roberts will continue with MSNBC in a new role, while the network will rotate several of their on-staff anchors in the time slot.