According to an announcement on Wednesday night by Ed Schultz on his “The Ed Show” on MSNBC, the over-the-top liberal talk show host will be moved from his week nights’ prestigious time slot at 8 p.m., EDT, to weekend evenings – Saturday and Sunday - from 5 to 7 p.m. The last show in the week night slot will be Thursday, March 14, and the weekend broadcast will begin in April.
While Schultz and the news channel heavyweight tried to paint a rosy picture of the change for Schultz, by industry standards, this is clearly a demotion.
This is the second time MSNBC has changed Schultz air time. When the show began, April 6, 2009, “The Ed Show” was in the 6 p.m. time slot. About two years later, in Jan. of 2011, the show was moved to 10 p.m. Then, in Oct. of 2011, Schultz was moved to his current place on the schedule at 8 p.m. – a prime time slot for such a political-news talk show. The prestigious spot only lasted 17 months before the bump.
While Schultz’s ratings have been consistently strong – number two in his time slot for political-news talk programming – it has been suggested that Schultz’s populist liberal tone is not a good match for the direction the station is going with the rest of its schedule at this time.
There have been rumors in recent times that MSNBC was looking to replace him. The announced move to weekends makes it official. The television network has not named Schultz’s weeknight replacement yet. Yet, there is speculation that Ezra Klein will be taking Schultz’s week night time slot.