MSNBC Cancels ‘The Cycle’, ‘Now with Alex Wagner’, and ‘The Ed Show’

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 06:  Spectators follow polling results in the MSNBC store in celebration of the 2012 Presidential Election night at Rockefeller Center on November 6, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 06: Spectators follow polling results in the MSNBC store in celebration of the 2012 Presidential Election night at Rockefeller Center on November 6, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

MSNBC has formally decided to cancel three programs — “The Cycle,” “Now with Alex Wagner” and “The Ed Show” — as part of a larger effort to shift its daytime lineup away from opinion programming, network sources told the On Media blog on Thursday.

Alex Wagner and Ari Melber, a “Cycle” co-host and MSNBC’s chief legal correspondent, will remain with the network. Ed Schultz, the host of “The Ed Show,” will leave the network, as will “Cycle” co-hosts Abby Huntsman, Krystal Ball and Toure. MSNBC President Phil Griffin announced the news in a memo sent shortly after the initial version of this item was published.

The cancellations, which have been expected for some time, come as NBC News chief Andrew Lack moves to refashion the liberal cable channel as a straight-forward news and politics offering, at least in daytime. In September, MSNBC will add a 5 p.m. program hosted by “Meet The Press” moderator Chuck Todd, while Brian Williams, the former “Nightly News” anchor, will serve as the network’s breaking news and special reports anchor.

In his memo to staff, Griffin said MSNBC would “unveil a 9am to 5pm schedule” in September “driven by dynamic coverage of breaking news events that are shaping the day” — a clear indication that daytime will be free from opinion-based programming. Throughout his memo, Griffin referred to MSNBC daytime as a place for “live, breaking news coverage.”

As part of the shift, Lack has informed staff that there will be greater integration between NBC News and MSNBC, befitting the original vision for the channel he founded as president of NBC News in 1996. MSNBC’s primetime programming — which includes shows hosted by Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes and Lawrence O’Donnell — is expected to remain liberal and outspoken.

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Source: Politico | DYLAN BYERS