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MSNBC has officially named as Joy Reid the new host of its 7 p.m. hour, filling the key early primetime slot that was vacated by Chris Matthews earlier this year.
In her new role, Reid becomes one of a handful of Black women to anchor an American evening news program. The last high profile Black woman to host a nightly news show on a major network was Gwen Ifill, who was named co-anchor with Judy Woodruff of PBS Newshour in 2013. Ifill died of cancer in 2016.
Reid will host The ReidOut, which will start July 20 and originate from Washington D.C. She currently hosts the weekend morning show AM Joy and has been with the channel since 2011. She had previously hosted an afternoon program called The Reid Report.
Reid’s new program will cover major political issues and feature one-on-one conversations with politicians and newsmakers.
“I’m thrilled to have Joy on five nights a week,” MSNBC president Phil Griffin said in a statement. “She’s thoughtful and brings so much depth to her reporting. She’s made for this moment.”
MSNBC cited her “passion for addressing the intersection of race, justice and culture” in an announcement about her new show.
“I’m honored and thankful for this opportunity,” Reid said in a statement. “I’ll always be proud of the work we did on AM Joy by pushing the envelope and tackling pragmatic conversations. I’m eager to carry that same energy into the 7 p.m. hour where we can continue to build on bringing in diverse, smart and accomplished voices to the table on topics that are important to our viewers.”
Matthews retired suddenly from MSNBC, where he hosted the 7 p.m. program Hardball, in March after being publicly called out for making inappropriate comments about female guests and after comparing Bernie Sanders’ early success in the 2020 Democratic primaries to the German invasion of France.
Reid’s ascension comes two years after a controversy nearly derailed her rise at the channel. Blog posts that she wrote more than a decade earlier surfaced, including homophobic comments and other offensive material. She initially said that she believed her blog may have been hacked, though no evidence has emerged to support that claim. MSNBC supported Reid in the flare-up that followed the publication of the old blog posts.
She subsequently released an apology: “While I published my blog, starting in 2005, I wrote thousands of posts in real time on the issues of the day,” Reid said in part. “There are things I deeply regret and am embarrassed by, things I would have said differently and issues where my position has changed. Today I’m sincerely apologizing again.”
With Reid’s new show, both MSNBC and sister channel CNBC will have new hosts at 7 p.m. this month. On Wednesday CNBC announced that former Fox News anchor Shepard Smith would take over the 7 p.m. slot to anchor a general interest evening news program.
Tina Urbanski will serve as the executive producer of The ReidOut.
Hilary Lewis contributed to this report.
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