Multiple outlets have reported over the last few weeks that Chris Hayes is going to be canceled, but the story has taken a new turn with sources inside MSNBC saying that Rachel Maddow will be moving to 8 PM and a new host will be taking over her current 9 PM timeslot.
The Wrap reported on February 4 that Hayes was on the chopping block, “One well-placed insider told TheWrap that the ratings-challenged “All In” with Chris Hayes — airing in the cable news sweet spot of 8 p.m. ET — might get uprooted for a different timeslot. It’s not clear who will replace Hayes in the event that he gets yanked from 8 p.m., but since Keith Olbermann’s 2011 exit, MSNBC has filled the all-important timeslot with internal talent rather than seeking hosts from the outside.”
It was reported by The Daily Beast that Hayes will be canceled and Maddow will be moved to 8 PM to replace him, “In the relatively near term, two well-placed sources predicted to The Daily Beast, Chris Hayes will be relieved of his weak-performing 8 p.m. show All In, to be replaced by the current 9 p.m. host of The Rachel Maddow Show, while a talent search is underway to fill the prime-time slot to be vacated by Maddow.”
Maddow’s show has seen its viewership plunge largely because Hayes has not been able to keep the audience that Ed Schultz built at 8 PM. It never made sense to saddle Maddow with a lead in with such a small audience. Chris Hayes was very successful on weekend mornings with “Up,” but he looked comfortable in primetime, and his show hasn’t worked. Hayes would be better suited in a different timeslot, probably back on the weekends, and a new host can be found for 9 PM.
Rachel Maddow has always been the logical heir to the 8 PM Olbermann throne at MSNBC. Ed Schultz did well in Olbermann’s old timeslot, but Maddow is the only person at MSNBC who is capable of bringing in millions of viewers on a nightly basis at 8 PM.
With the news that MSNBC is looking to replace their liberal hosts and move away from “left-wing television,” it will curious to see what kind of network Maddow will anchor at 8 PM. The move of Chris Hayes out of weeknight prime time is long past due, and Maddow taking over 8 o’clock will be what is best for her and MSNBC.