Ed Schultz said goodbye to his 8PM weekday time slot on MSNBC Thursday night, but not before he addressed the rumors Politico put out yesterday about his switch to a 2-hour show on Saturdays and Sundays. In their article announcing the change, Dylan Byers insinuated that Schultz was being shoved out by MSNBC executives, something Schultz vehemently denies.
Chris Hayes will launch a new show in the 8 PM timeslot, beginning April 1st.
Speaking at the end of his Thursday show, Shultz thanked his wife, his viewers and his team but made it abundantly clear he was ready to take on the weekend cable lineup and shake it up.
Ed Schultz closed his final weekday show on MSNBC Thursday night by thanking his viewers, his team, and his wife of 16 years for supporting him during his time as host of the 8 p.m. show.
Schultz said he looked forward to telling real American stories on MSNBC. “We’re going to build those hours to be the best hours in cable,” he said.
“This is what The Ed Show has always been about, this is what The Ed Show is always going to be about: the people on the road, the stories, the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker—those middle-class Americans who are fighting for a fair share, and their dream, their piece of the pie of this great country,” he added.
My viewing relationship with Shultz has been tempestuous. There were times where I'd shake my fist at him and other times where I'd give him an ovation. But he has consistently put the spotlight on stories that mean something to those of us who are not celebrities, who are not politicos, but who are just ordinary people trying to get by from day to day.
Ed shined the light on Scott Walker and the Wisconsin union situation right away, and stayed with that story to the end. He highlighted the 47 percent story, and was rewarded with the first interview with Scott Prouty. Watching Ed Schultz could be a little on the tiring side sometimes, but there was never any doubt that he was passionate and ready to do battle (and fire up the troops) for ordinary people.
I wish Chris Hayes much luck in that time slot. I like Chris, but I confess to not having quite the same viewing relationship with him. I think he's brilliant and sometimes funny, but also quite similar to Rachel Maddow in style and approach. We shall see. In the meantime, I'm going to make a commitment to see what Ed does with that weekend slot, because I do believe him when he vows to make those hours the best ever.
Whatever else it is, it will definitely be a refreshing change from the usual Saturday and Sunday afternoon talking heads on Fox and CNN.
Best of luck to you, Ed.