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Maddow in August signed a new long-term deal with NBCUniversal, one that will see her develop other types of content and programming for MSNBC and other NBCU channels and platforms. Critically, it also means that at some point, perhaps within the next year, Maddow will step aside from her 9 p.m. primetime show in favor of a less-intense TV on-air schedule.
Interviewed at The Information’s WTF conference Wednesday, MSNBC president Rashida Jones said that while “it is something we are working through, there is no immediate rush here.”
“One of our goals, and more importantly her goal, is how to take the content that she and her team is doing and find a way to bring it across our entire portfolio,” Jones added. “How do we get exposure in more of those places?”
Still, Jones says she thinks more ink will be spilled about the channel’s primetime plans. “I expect the speculation to continue, I expect the rumors to continue. It comes with the territory,” she said, adding that “those who know don’t talk, and those who talk don’t know.”
Jones, who took over MSNBC in February, is in the midst of trying to reposition the channel, building its dayside linear lineup around hard news programming — Jones said they want to be “clarifying the types of programming we offer, and clarifying that more overtly to the audience” — while adding more analysis and opinion shows as well as long-form content to weekend primetime. She is also tasked with figuring out what MSNBC looks like off of the linear channel, starting with its Peacock streaming channel, The Choice.
“It is important for me that MSNBC as a brand is not just thought of as a linear channel,” Jones says, adding that convincing young consumers to pay for the cable bundle is likely a “fruitless mission.”
“The goal is to bring the same connection that our audience has with our brand, [and] take that to places where people have already started moving,” Jones says of the streaming push.
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