MSNBC Changes Prime-Time Lineup

21 08 2008

Just in time for the closing rush of the presidential election, MSNBC is shaking up its prime-time programming lineup, removing the longtime host Dan Abrams — its onetime general manager — from his 9 p.m. program and replacing him with Rachel Maddow, who has emerged as a favored political commentator for the all-news cable network.

The moves, which were confirmed by MSNBC executives on Tuesday, are expected to be finalized by Wednesday, with Mr. Abrams’s last program on Thursday. After MSNBC’s extensive coverage of the two political conventions during the next two weeks, Ms. Maddow will begin her program on Sept. 8.

MSNBC is highlighting the date, 9/8/08, connecting it to the start of the Olympics on 8/8/08, as a way to signal what the network’s president, Phil Griffin, said “will be the final leg of the political race this year.” He added, “We’re making that Rachel’s debut.”


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