ANNOUNCEMENT FROM PHIL GRIFFIN
I wanted to share some exciting news with you.
Starting Monday, August 26, “The Ed Show” is moving back to weeknights, now at 5 p.m. ET. “Hardball with Chris Matthews” will move to one, strong run at 7 p.m. ET.
Chris and the “Hardball” team have been the cornerstone of our evening lineup, pulling double duty for us at both 5p and 7p for years. This move will help us enhance the flow of our weeknight programming and concentrate Chris’ audience to one key time period. And this allows us to bring Ed’s powerful voice back to the Monday-Friday schedule. Ed connects with our viewers and I’m happy to have him back five nights a week. I’ve been thinking about making this change for quite a while and I know now is the right time with the right shows.
The full press release is below. My thanks to Chris, Ed, John Reiss, James Holm and the “Hardball” and “The Ed Show” teams.
Enjoy the rest of the summer. We have a lot to look forward to this fall.
The fact is Schultz is moving back to weekdays, because Chris Hayes continues to be a total disaster at 8 PM. The move of Hardball to 7 PM is really an attempt to give Hayes a stronger lead in, and a hope that some of the people who watch Chris Matthews will stick around to watch Hayes’s last place in the ratings show. (This move also puts an end to MSNBC’s bulls**t excuse that Ed Schultz wanted to move to weekends.)
What this means for those who have been pining for a daily dose of The Ed Show is that your wish has been granted. Schultz has managed to pull about 2/3 or more of Hayes’s audience in a morbid weekend afternoon time slot, so the move back to weekdays was really a no brainer.
The reality is that All In is dying a slow and painful death at eight. All In’s ratings plunge has also destroyed Rachel Maddow’s viewership at 9 PM. Every other show from 5 PM forward on MSNBC weekdays draws more viewers than Chris Hayes. This is a desperate attempt by Phil Griffin to get himself out of the corner that he painted himself into by going “All In.” If Schultz continues to do well, and Hayes continues to struggle, what this move sets up is an eventual return of The Ed Show to 8 PM.
For Chris Matthews this change means that he will finally be able to do a live show when people are home to watch it. The 7 PM replay of Hardball has outdrawn the 5 PM live edition for years, and it made no sense to give one hour of weekday programming to a replay of a show that had just aired two hours earlier.
After a few years of terrible scheduling and personnel moves, MSNBC has finally listened to their viewers and done something right.
As Ed Schultz likes to say, “Let’s get to work.”