August 19, 2013 – The Ed Show hosted by Ed Schultz is moving back to MSNBC’s weekday lineup starting Monday, August 26.
The Ed Show will air Monday – Friday at 5 p.m. ET. Hardball with Chris Matthews will continue at 7 p.m. ET. The announcement was made today by Phil Griffin, President of MSNBC.
“Chris Matthews and the Hardball team have been pulling double duty for years. This move will concentrate the ‘Hardball’ audience to one key time period and enhance the flow of our evening programming,” said Griffin. “Ed Schultz is a force of nature and an important voice to the MSNBC audience. I can’t wait to have him back on weeknights.”
The Ed Show previously aired on Saturdays and Sunday at 5 p.m. ET. MSNBC Longform will fill the 5 p.m. weekends slot starting Saturday, August 31. Hardball with Chris Matthews will continue its weekday re-air at 2 a.m. ET on MSNBC.
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.
I really think Chris Hayes' weekend show was a better fit for him with the two hours to do some in depth coverage of topics that often aren't made time for during a busy news cycle in the middle of the week. And as Nicole discussed here earlier, UP just hasn't been the same since Steve Kornacki took the show over. If they would move Hayes back to the weekends, that would be a show worth reairing again for the folks who would like to watch it on the west coast without either recording it or getting up in the middle of the night to catch it live.