Showless Cosby set to leave MSNBC

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NEW YORK -- Rita Cosby will leave MSNBC at month's end after the anchor was left without a regular program last year when the cable channel changed top management.

Her primetime show "Live & Direct" was canned in the summer by MSNBC in a programming shake-up, leaving the former Fox News Channel host with only sporadic airtime, including mostly daytime slots. Cosby, however, had seen a lot of airtime on the channel recently covering the mysterious death of Anna Nicole Smith.

Cosby said Friday that after losing her show, she began talks with NBC about what she would do next but later "expressed my desire to move on."

Her standing at the network changed drastically with the departure of former president Rick Kaplan, who hired her in August 2005. One of MSNBC GM Dan Abrams' first moves when he was promoted was to move Cosby out of primetime and move Tucker Carlson's show earlier in the schedule from its late-night slot.

Cosby's time at MSNBC and Fox had been marked by a number of scoops. She had been at Fox News from 1995-2003.
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