As 2015 draws to a close, we look back sadly on the many shows MSNBC canceled, or relegated to weekend programming, as a result of low ratings and continued teleprompter incompetence.
MSNBC’s concerted push to get away from left-leaning programming in its daytime hours caused the ax to fall on five shows in one calendar year.
In February, the short-lived daytime shows Ronan Farrow Daily and The Reid Report both were canceled, although hosts Ronan Farrow and Joy Reid were retained as network correspondents. Reid also fills in as a host for other MSNBC programs.
With July came another rush of cancellations, as The Cycle, Now with Alex Wagner and The Ed Show, which aired back-to-back-to-back from 3 to 5 p.m. ET, all met their ends. The Cycle’s quartet of hosts and Wagner at least had send-offs on their show, but Ed Schultz didn’t show up for his final broadcast. Frequent substitute Michael Eric Dyson instead was left to briefly eulogize the fiery host’s tenure that was heavy on populist histrionics.
Schultz has left MSNBC entirely, as have The Cycle’s Toure, Krystal Ball and Abby Huntsman. Host Ari Melber is still a legal correspondent for MSNBC, and Wagner also landed on her feet with the network. Presumably, MSNBC did not want to fully banish the woman married to President Obama’s former chef.
Wagner memorably remarked, “Woo! Shit!” as the last broadcast faded to black.
Finally, Rev. Al Sharpton’s humorously insane PoliticsNation was, while not canceled, pushed to Sunday mornings at 8 a.m., which is not quite the same thing as a primetime slot. To Sharpton’s credit, he acknowledged his continued shortcomings with reading teleprompters as he signed off the last weekday broadcast Sept. 4.