There does not seem to be much in common between Rachel Maddow and John Oliver. In the future, however, MSNBC‘s anchor and Bill Maher’s HBO show will offer viewers something similar: a weekly show where they will analyze the news in detail and give their own opinions on each topic.
As Maddow revealed to viewers this evening, she will reduce her spending commitments at MSNBC in May, moving from what was a five-day role to hosting only on Mondays, as she said last night. As part of her new NBCUniversal deal, which includes the aegis over a broader range of projects such as podcasts and movies, she is changing her schedule considerably.
There are still a lot of irons in the fire, so to speak, all these other projects I am working on that I wish to bring to fruition. None of them are fast, and none of them are easy, and yet I am still pursuing all of them,” Maddow said on Sunday evening’s MSNBC program. It was only after a weeks-long hiatus that she returned to the podium that she was able to get some work done on those new initiatives.
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It was not clear if MSNBC would be replacing Maddow for its 9 p.m. hour, a time in which Maddow has been hosting since September of 2008, when she used to have Keith Olbermann as her lead-in. A rotation of anchors will instead be deployed by the network. Alex Wagner and Ali Velshi are among the many people who have filled in for Rachel Maddow during recent weeks.
There may be occasions when Maddow appears more frequently. The right-hand side of the upper right corner is directly beneath the perspective of the broadcaster and, naturally, this can’t be a coincidence.
It’s a new challenge for MSNBC to navigate while the anchor who attracts so many viewers without an everyday appearance is not on camera one day a week. This poses the question: how do they keep viewers coming in to watch one of the most competitive hours on cable-news TV if the anchor who brings them in isn’t present?
Similarly, MSNBC’s rivais have had to deal with similar obstacles. The Fox News network was able to draw new viewers to its 7 p.m. hour with the help of shifting anchor Martha MacCallum to an earlier time slot after moving her earlier in the day. Until recently, opinion host Jesse Watters had become a household name at the 7 o’clock news. But now, Watters is attracting bigger audiences there now.
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But 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. are clearly two very different hours in the world of cable news. Over the past several years, the 9 p.m. hour at MSNBC has been a place to watch some of cable’s best talk shows, with Maddow competing with CNN’s former host Chris Cuomo and Fox News’s Sean Hannity. As a result of the exit of former President Donald Trump, some of that heat has dissipated.
According to Kantar, a company that tracks ad spending, in pandemic-ridden 2020, Maddow’s show raked in nearly $66.2 million in advertising – just a little less than the $69.2 million racked up by the show in 2019. In 2021, the show is expected to continue attracting sponsors like Procter & Gamble’s Tide and Mazda.
Although Maddow is lumped in with other cable opinion hosts, by focusing on the details of enlightening, in-depth research, she sets herself apart from many of them. The anchor of NBC’s Today Show has the distinctive ability to start off her program with a 22-minute essay about a longer topic that often includes history and context along with the day’s news. It’s no secret that Maddow has been admired for her abilities, if not for the politics she supports on her show. Even Fix News hosts like Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham have expressed admiration for her.
It is still unclear whether MSNBC will be able to replace Rachel Maddow, regardless of whether they find someone to succeed her.