The far-left cable news-and-views operation that has desperately tried to brand itself as the “Lean Forward” network is now in an undeniable “lean backward” posture, dumping a number of its progressive talk shows in favor of more hard, straight news coverage. MSNBC is, by some accounts, waving the white flag of surrender, largely giving up on its non-stop, ultra-liberal program lineup.
Network officials have not formally announced all the dramatic changes that promise to reshape the media home of Al Sharpton, Ed Schultz, Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow and others who regularly preach the liberal gospel in support of Barack Obama and his political apostles. However, sources quoted by several news industry watchdogs point to a massive shakeup in a program schedule that has sunk MSNBC into a ratings depression so deep it could be called a near-death experience.
Western Journalism has previously reported how audience ratings for the flailing cable net have been sinking lower and lower. In April, MSNBC’s parent company, Comcast, pulled the plug on a proposed merger with Time Warner Cable, casting doubt on the future of the network constantly struggling to compete in any respectable way against the Fox News Channel.
Once the telecom giants abandoned their expensive effort to grease the Washington skids to try to win official approval of their plan to combine forces, Comcast and MSNBC brass took a long, hard look at the viability of the far-left net that viewers have been abandoning in droves.
Now, in an exclusive report, Mediaite says that MSNBC is on the verge of big changes that would arguably represent “the most significant revamp the network has made at one time in its 19-year history.”
According to an inside source that reportedly spoke with Mediaite, you can wave bye-bye to several progressive talk shows: “Out: The Cycle at 3:00 PM. Now with Alex Wagner at 4:00 PM. The Ed Show with Ed Schultz at 5:00 PM (all times eastern).”
So what will replace these soon-disappeared afternoon MSNBC programs that constantly stirred the pot and proclaimed the virtues of liberal politics and progressive causes? News shows, that’s what.
The Host of NBC’s Meet the Press, Chuck Todd, will reportedly return to MSNBC with a weekday program. Then there’s the disgraced former anchor of the NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams, who will soon be an MSNBC regular, presumably because cable watchers don’t expect or demand all that much integrity.
As for other faces you’ll see either come or go from the ratings-toilet-dwelling cable network, Mediaite also says that (are you ready for this?) Keith Olbermann could be coming back.
Possibly heading for the exit along with Alex Wagner, Ed Schultz and The Cycle panel could be Chris Hayes and, yes, even Al Sharpton. Previous MSNBC anchors Ronan Farrow and Joy Reid have already ridden into the media sunset.
And in case you’re crossing your fingers, hoping that Rachel Maddow or Chris Matthews might be getting pink slips, sources say that’s unlikely.
MSNBC boss Andy Lack is supposedly planning a “town hall” any day now to make official the changes that will return the network to its 1990s roots as a more straightforward news operation, not a “Lean Forward” hotbed of top-to-bottom political talk and liberal advocacy.
Western Journalism will update this post as further details on the program changes at MSNBC become available.
What do you think of the changes being made at MSNBC? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth