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MSNBC, which has been soaring lately in both ratings and advertising prices, is giving radio host Hugh Hewitt his own show, adding another conservative voice to a lineup that already includes Fox News poach Greta Van Susteren and former George W. Bush communications hand Nicole Wallace.
Hewitt’s self-titled show will air on Saturday mornings at 8 a.m. ET, beginning this week, as part of an expansion of the network’s weekend programming in July. TVNewser first reported the news Thursday, which was then announced by the company.
In giving Hewitt his own show, MSNBC is sure to raise eyebrows, considering that it has been doing well mostly on the strength of left-leaning opinion journalists like Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell. NBC News chairman Andy Lack is known to favor hard news and has programmed the network to feature a broader range of editorial opinions in addition to traditional newsmen like Brian Williams.
Also, as part of the changes, Thomas Roberts will anchor two hours in the evenings on both Saturday and Sunday, with coverage running until 9 p.m. The evening hours on MSNBC were previously filled with reruns of weekday shows and taped programming.
New York magazine reported back in April that talks were underway for a Hewitt show. At the time, it was reported that MSNBC preferred a weekend morning show for Hewitt and that because he favored an evening show, the morning show idea was “off the table.”
While all the major cable networks have been doing well during the action-packed first few months of Donald Trump’s presidency, MSNBC has been particularly ascendant. On Wednesday, Standard Media Index released a report showing that the network has enjoyed a 43% year-over-year increase in ad rates, besting gains for Fox News and CNN.
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